Eric

Armor All Gold Coast 600

35 posts in this topic

Guess what race is this weekend?

The Armor All Gold Coast 600, a V8 Supercars race featuring quite a few "international" (as in racing outside of Australia) drivers paired with regulars for the endurance race. They include:

  • David Brabham (Stone Brothers Racing), 2009 24 Heures du Mans champion and 2009-2010 ALMS champion, former V8 competitor
  • Sébastien Bourdais (Tekno Autosports), four-time CART champion and ex-F1 competitor
  • Ryan Briscoe (Holden Racing Team), winner of the 2008 IndyCar race at the Gold Coast and a veteran of two V8 starts
  • Hélio Castroneves (James Rosenburg Racing), three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and tax cheat
  • Scott Dixon (Kelly Racing), 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion who has tested V8s
  • Dario Franchitti (d#ck Johnson Racing), three-time IndyCar and two-time Indianapolis 500 champion
  • Fabrizio Giovanardi (Britek Motorsport), two-time BTCC and 2002 ETCC champion with some V8 experience
  • Patrick Long (Garry Rogers Motorsport), youngest driver to ever score class victories at Le Mans, Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and Daytona and the only American to ever be a Porsche factory driver, all while doing NASCAR on the side
  • Alain Menu (Brad Jones Racing), two-time BTCC champion and current WTCC competitor
  • Tiago Monteiro (Tony D'Alberto Racing), ex-F1 and current WTCC racer, P18 in his sole CART start at the track
  • Gianni Morbidelli (Triple F Racing), ex-F1 competitor turned touring car racer currently in the Superstars Series
  • Yvan Muller (Paul Morris Motorsport), WTCC and BTCC champion
  • Will Power (Ford Performance Racing), 2010 IndyCar road course championship winner and Gold Coast track record holder
  • Andy Priaulx (Triple Eight Race Engineering), a three-time WTCC champion
  • Scott Pruett (Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport), three-time Grand-Am, three-time Trans-Am, and two-time IMSA GTO champion with experience ranging from NASCAR to CART, where he won the 1997 race at the track
  • Mika Salo (Walkinshaw Racing), ex-F1 racer
  • Alex Tagliani (Kelly Racing), IndyCar racer with a pair of podiums at the track and a wife from Surfers' Paradise
  • Jacques Villeneuve (Rod Nash Racing), 1997 WDC and 1995 Indianapolis 500 champion with some full-fender experience in NASCAR

I'm looking forward to seeing how those drivers do in the V8s. A few seem to be in better positions than others as far as equipment and experience goes. Race will be televised in the U.S. on SPEED at 3 PM E.T. (which is relevant to all one U.S. member) one week later on October 31, and no doubt streamed live on the Internet for those outside of the select nations that get TV coverage (I'll likely be using a stream to see it live).

A very cool idea to mandate the international drivers for this one.

Edited by Eric

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The rules are that for endurance events, the regular drivers are not allowed to pair with each other to prevent dominence at the Enduro's and unfairly extend the series point's lead (if they had one). So what you do is you take a not long retired Mark Skaife and put him with Craig Lowndes and you go crush the opposition around Mount Panorama.

Of the Internationals, Dixon and Franchitti have a good chance being with Rick and Todd Kelly (in the Jack Daniels sponsored cars), and Will Power should be up there in the Ford Performance Car...the rest will be making up the numbers as there is quite a divide between the haves and the have nots in SV8's, and the Fords have not been too strong this year.

We get it live here....oh the pain in the neck of it all... :P

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If you can't get the Indy Car's there, the getting the drivers would be the next best thing.

These guys will love driving the Aussie V8.

The Australian V8 Supercar series is ssssssoooooooooo much better than Nascar. Non-Australian are missing out!!!!

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If you can't get the Indy Car's there, the getting the drivers would be the next best thing.

These guys will love driving the Aussie V8.

The Australian V8 Supercar series is ssssssoooooooooo much better than Nascar. Non-Australian are missing out!!!!

V8s are good, but, I'd say (jsut my view point) that from a diversity point of view, WTCC and BTCC are better simply because they have more different makes and models of cars racing.

Interesting list. I won't be able to watch, simply because I'll be asleep and there's probably no way I could watch even if I wanted to. I'll check the results the next day though.

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If you can't get the Indy Car's there, the getting the drivers would be the next best thing.

These guys will love driving the Aussie V8.

The Australian V8 Supercar series is ssssssoooooooooo much better than Nascar. Non-Australian are missing out!!!!

SPEED has been showing the V8s in the U.S. one week after they happen and the racing is solid, though perhaps not as action-packed as BTCC. Not a big fan of comparing unlike series, but is a nice alternative to NASCAR when one's in the mood for something different. Fun series.

It would have been great if the event could have been timed a little differently to include more current F1 and NASCAR drivers, with the former obviously being the most popular series in the world and the latter having some very underrated drivers of heavy cars on road courses. Still, it will be fun to see a few of these guys' first ventures in the full-fender racing.

Better than DTM too....and FIA WTCC....

Yeah, DTM's really not interesting, and while WTCC may have a "better" grid, I've never found the races to be too compelling. To each his/her own, of course. I'm sure most think my racing's horrible to watch! :lol:

Are there any possibilities of new manufactures coming to V8s when they adopt their new regulations in the next few years (2012 or 2013; I forget)? I'd seen renders of a Hyundai, and heard of Toyota wanting to get the Aurion in, and maybe even read something about Nissan. Do they currently allow "foreign" manufactures? Just wondering.

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It is still the Australian Touring Car Championship (just marketed under a different name), so the first rule is Aussie built. (The 2-litre cars of yesteryear had different rules to allow BMW, Ford Sierra Cosworths, Nissan Skylines etc in).

Mitsubishi was looking at it a few years ago, but nothing came of it.

They do want more makes, but Ford / GM is a good rivalry. However with Falcon's going the way of the Dodo in a few years, they will have to look at something else to happen.

Re WTCC...all I can say is, there are more colours than white, white, white and white out there.....and they may have four or five makes, but it's really only BMW at the front, and car from car is hard to work out as they are white, white, white, white, white..... :P

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following post I hit a wrong button :-)

Edited by rodders47

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Well as I read the rules for V8 Supercars for next year, or maybe comes in force the year after not sure, but they will have a SINGLE body shell with rollcage and independant suspension on the rear, and all the teams have to do is tack on the body shape, i.e. Ford or Holden, shell, or maybe a Mitsubishi/Toyota/Skoda/Trabant, who knows and then add either the Ford/Holden/ whatever V8 motor!! Seems to me a bit like the NASCAR cars. Can anyone honestly tell me they can tell the difference between makes in NASCAR without seeing the BADGE on the car?

Hardly how the series started out where each manufacturer had to homologate their own cars and build and SELL 500 of that series to the Joe Bloe general public.

To me this is not Holden or Ford racing together, it is just a Team effort in how to get the SAME car racing with a diferent livery i.e. Holden or Ford body SHAPE, certainly nothing that would be availbe to the public. In other words a ONE MAKE SERIES. A bit like Formula Vee.

I have watched Bathurst since it first was televised and I did like the different classes, and hell even a Mini won or a Ford cortina 500!! then we had the nissans/ Sierra's/Jag's etc.

That was motor racing not this stuff they are selling us, WE HAVE THE SAME GEAR AS YOU BUT WE ARE NOT AS QUICK AS YOU rubbish we have now.

Edited by rodders47

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The silhouette rules come in 2012 I think. I believe it was brought about because of Falcon being killed off by Ford to fit in with their One Global chassis campaign thing. At least with the silhouette rules we won't have to suffer the indignation of a Holden vs a Ford Taurus sedan....

Ford seems on the outter at the moment any way.....only 12 I think I counted were at Bathurst - the rest (18) being Holden.

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yep I think that is correct re the Bathurst entries.

Soooooooo what will the say 2012 event be called? HOLDEN V8 MOTOR RACE :-)

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Good post, Eric, and thanks for all the pertinent details. The Australian V8 Supercar series has always been good, hard racing to watch on those occasions I've caught it on SPEED.

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Well as I read the rules for V8 Supercars for next year, or maybe comes in force the year after not sure, but they will have a SINGLE body shell with rollcage and independant suspension on the rear, and all the teams have to do is tack on the body shape, i.e. Ford or Holden, shell, or maybe a Mitsubishi/Toyota/Skoda/Trabant, who knows and then add either the Ford/Holden/ whatever V8 motor!! Seems to me a bit like the NASCAR cars. Can anyone honestly tell me they can tell the difference between makes in NASCAR without seeing the BADGE on the car?

Hardly how the series started out where each manufacturer had to homologate their own cars and build and SELL 500 of that series to the Joe Bloe general public.

To me this is not Holden or Ford racing together, it is just a Team effort in how to get the SAME car racing with a diferent livery i.e. Holden or Ford body SHAPE, certainly nothing that would be availbe to the public. In other words a ONE MAKE SERIES. A bit like Formula Vee.

I have watched Bathurst since it first was televised and I did like the different classes, and hell even a Mini won or a Ford cortina 500!! then we had the nissans/ Sierra's/Jag's etc.

That was motor racing not this stuff they are selling us, WE HAVE THE SAME GEAR AS YOU BUT WE ARE NOT AS QUICK AS YOU rubbish we have now.

Yeah; the NASCAR vehicles all have similar bodies (there are slight body differences, though not by manufacture; it's more by team. Hard to see unless you place a Hendrick car next to a start-and-park one), but the stuff under the body varies greatly (again, by team, and not really by manufacture. No manufacture supplies one engine).

Honestly, if the racing's good, I don't mind the regulations being spec or whatever. Typically, though, one-make racing isn't very exciting, which is why I do prefer a bit more variety. Interesting to see the situation in the V8 Supercars and their future; thanks for the info! :)

The silhouette rules come in 2012 I think. I believe it was brought about because of Falcon being killed off by Ford to fit in with their One Global chassis campaign thing. At least with the silhouette rules we won't have to suffer the indignation of a Holden vs a Ford Taurus sedan....

Ford seems on the outter at the moment any way.....only 12 I think I counted were at Bathurst - the rest (18) being Holden.

Oh, come on, the Ford Taurus is one hell of a racing car...;)

51CPA95FQ5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

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Priaulx fastest of the "furriners," but few actually got a lot of dry laps in. I believe the only driver to beat his teammate in similar conditions was Ryan Briscoe, who nipped Will Davison by a tenth.

Villeneuve's not been well-received by his team; apparently, he has a lot of to whine about. Radio's too loud, seat doesn't fit, driver changes are impossible. Though he's saying he wants to run a full season. I guess that's Plan C, considering he and Durango didn't have the budget for F1, and are facing the same problem in NASCAR.

All the drivers seem to be having fun, though, which is nice to see. There are some good guys in Indy (Power, Dixon, and Franchitti among them) who don't really get much of a chance to be promoted or show their personalities.

Edited by Eric

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Mr Newtown...what a nancy boy. Next he'll be saying the BBQ on the trailer hooked on the back is a hindrance too....that and the crate of beer on the back seat...

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Priaulx fastest of the "furriners," but few actually got a lot of dry laps in. I believe the only driver to beat his teammate in similar conditions was Ryan Briscoe, who nipped Will Davison by a tenth.

Villeneuve's not been well-received by his team; apparently, he has a lot of to whine about. Radio's too loud, seat doesn't fit, driver changes are impossible. Though he's saying he wants to run a full season. I guess that's Plan C, considering he and Durango didn't have the budget for F1, and are facing the same problem in NASCAR.

All the drivers seem to be having fun, though, which is nice to see. There are some good guys in Indy (Power, Dixon, and Franchitti among them) who don't really get much of a chance to be promoted or show their personalities.

Bummer. I hope that's just a rumour though. I'm hoping JV does well in the V8s. I had a chance to head to the track yesterday to szhooomze in a tent, but Friday's are a waste of time to go to the track. The event's not the same as the early 90s though. Less people, less of a buzz around the city. Personally seeing Mansell fly around the track in the Indy hey days was incredible. That was of course before Indy split into two.

The bottom line is this event has to make money, or it won't last. Last years A1 fiasco was ridiculous. Everyone loves the V8s, but I hope by having all these international famous drivers here, it will help it stand out from the rest of the races.

Thanks for the list Eric. Hopefully in years to come we'll see a David Coulthard, a Webber, and others coming down. How about Danica, or some of the Nascar big boys. I could see Ken Block there too, maybe Pastrana or even Loeb. If this event shines, we'll see even more famous guys next year.

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Bummer. I hope that's just a rumour though. I'm hoping JV does well in the V8s. I had a chance to head to the track yesterday to szhooomze in a tent, but Friday's are a waste of time to go to the track. The event's not the same as the early 90s though. Less people, less of a buzz around the city. Personally seeing Mansell fly around the track in the Indy hey days was incredible. That was of course before Indy split into two.

The bottom line is this event has to make money, or it won't last. Last years A1 fiasco was ridiculous. Everyone loves the V8s, but I hope by having all these international famous drivers here, it will help it stand out from the rest of the races.

Thanks for the list Eric. Hopefully in years to come we'll see a David Coulthard, a Webber, and others coming down. How about Danica, or some of the Nascar big boys. I could see Ken Block there too, maybe Pastrana or even Loeb. If this event shines, we'll see even more famous guys next year.

I think your view is shared by many from what I've read. I'm baffled about the lack of IndyCars at the track; obviously, the current IRL wouldn't generate the same buzz the one of the 90s did, but the IRL's reason for not running the race is that "it's too expensive to travel to Australia." Yet in the same press release, they say they're talking to "other Australian venues." Certainly a "wait, what?" moment reading about that.

It would be great to see the event succeed because I absolutely love the concept; I hope other fans will, too. I do wonder if the promoters can try to find a new date to allow for some current F1 and NASCAR drivers to join the fun; I know Button and Earnhardt have both driven V8s before in exhibitions and would do a race if they could (Button has that Vodafone connection, and Earnhardt has the GM one). Ford have been using Block in their advertisements stateside (I see a lot of Block shirts around school, which is certainly unexpected), so I could see that as well. Pastrana and/or Loeb would be a lot of fun; two great racers. Pastrana's always surprised me with his abilities in four-wheeled cars, and it's a shame Red Bull couldn't get a NASCAR race for him this year.

I do hope its a success. Surfers' Paradise is such a nice track and I always loved watching the CART/CCWS races from there. Something to help the event get some new life would be nice, and it's certainly a good idea. Always fun to see drivers try something new, and I'm very glad a lot of them were allowed to do it despite conflicting manufactures and/or sponsors in their regular series.

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Just seen the clip of the start of the race....some really idiotic driving there, especially from JV.

I doubt many of the F1 teams would allow their drivers to do "extra curricular" activities like the V8s. It seems even Renault isn't completely happy about Kubica doing rallying on his weekends off, so I think even if there was a gap (which there probably wouldn't if Ecclestone gets his way) the teams still wouldn't want their drivers to do it.

Maybe at the end of the F1 season, but, after all the travelling and such the drivers had done over the year, I doubt they'd want to do it.

Shame, but I think the days of current F1 drivers doing much racing outside of F1 is over and has been for some time.

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Wasn't entirely JV's fault. He was helped around by the car behind him giving him a nudge. His fault was he kept his foot planted to spin around, but that tactic doesn't work with 26 cars on his backside

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Quite. Shame he ruined some people's races with that stupid move, really.

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New Zealand IndyCar star Scott Dixon says tearing around Surfers Paradise in a V8 Supercar was a true eye-opener.

Dixon and the other 17 international stars competing as co-drivers in this weekend's Gold Coast 600 event got to grips with the 2.96km street circuit for the first time on Friday.

And the results were humbling for some of the most decorated drivers in the world as wheel lockups, missed chicanes and some heavy hits abounded.

Brazilian three-time Indy500 winner Helio Castroneves provided the day's most spectacular incident, spearing front-on into a wall in the day's second 40-minute practice session.

His IndyCar colleague Alex Tagliani and former Formula One driver Mika Salo also came to grief during the third practice hit-out.

"I think it's eye-opening man," Dixon, who drives for the Target Chip Ganassi team in the United States, told AAP.

"It's a lot different to what we're typically used to, the cars are very tricky to drive.

"Obviously these guys are very good at what they do so it's very cool to come down and run with them on a normal weekend, especially when it's a championship weekend."

Dixon, a two-time IndyCar champion, is racing at Surfers with Todd Kelly and despite the steep learning curve, he's loving the experience.

"I've really enjoyed it, obviously with a great team and knowing Todd and Rick from years ago when I raced in Australia has definitely made it easier," he said.

"It just feels like I'm at home here."

There is however one thing he'd like to change, the way the V8 Supercar teams circulate used tyres for practice sessions, something that's a world away from what he's used to in IndyCar.

"The cars are very difficult here because your margin of error is so small," he said.

"The hardest thing here, which I don't really know why, is the tyre situation.

"Starting a day and you've got to run on tyres that have got 200 kilometres on them already is just baffling and when you look at it, it's only $250 a tyre.

"Definitely the tyre thing in this series, from what we're used to, is crazy. I'm like, 'well I'll pay $1000 if I can get some new tyres' because if you don't have good tyres you're going to look like an idiot anyway.

"That's the only thing that's been a bit strange, but, no, I've had fun."

Dixon and his international colleagues will get stuck into the action for real on Saturday with qualifying, a top 10 shootout and a 300km race all to be held.

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Jacques Villeneuve was at the centre of an ugly start to the first leg of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 today that destroyed the chances of Ford Performance Racing’s strike Falcon, the #5 Orrcon Steel Falcon and the #6 sister car. Villeneuve copped a bump from Warren Luff and then received a whack from Luke Youlden (#5 FPR Falcon) going into the first chicane.

Then entering the new hairpin on the shortened 2.9km track, Villeneuve copped a hit from behind from Greg Ritter which turned him around causing a scrimmage that involved up to a dozen cars.

The ensuing chaos eliminated Toll HRT driver Will Davison and the #6 FPR car of Will Power and Steve Richards.

Power had to garage the Dunlop-backed FPR car when he lost oil pressure in a nightmare start that only lasted a few hundred metres into what was supposed to be a 300km race.

Youlden rejoined the action but was four laps down in the car he shared with Mark Winterbottom.

The bulk of the opening fracas was triggered not by an international rookie but by experienced V8 co-drivers.

Most of the teams elected to run their co-driver at the start of the race and employed their number one steerer to double stint and bring the car home.

It has destroyed whatever chances Mark Winterbottom grasped in the Championship.

Villeneuve was forced to pit the Bottle-O Falcon, which is ironically run under the FPR umbrella, on lap 14 with front-end damage and a badly cut tyre. The 1997 F1 World Champion merged back into the race but was nine laps down in 26th place, the last of the cars still circulating.

The race ended up restarting on lap five with Cameron McConville, co-driving the #2 HRT Commodore, leading the pack.

McConville copped a 10 second penalty for allegedly jumping the start, a complete form reversal on his Bathurst effort when he fluffed the start of Australia’s biggest motor race.

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JV keeping his foot on the gas was silly. He wasn't to blame for the spin however. But in the heat of the moment, trying to spin your car back around to face the right way, with 2 dozen cars wizzing past was short sighted. I've seen far worse in the V8 car racing, but since this is JV people love to bring out the knives.

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Indeed...any the cars are not easy to drive. All the inters have a huge learning curve. Even at Bathurst in years gone by, some teams have brought over European touring car people, and frankly, they have sucked donkeys. These cars are very technical, and the fact that there is no downforce, or grip, and the car is heavy, and rolls etc etc etc, the open wheel guys will always find it tough....which is way it's taken JPM so long to come anywhere near good in NASCAR, and similarly any of the IRL guys trying to make the switch (Hornish Jr anyone?). To go from one of these cars into F1, apart from a few extra driver adjustable settings in the cars, would (or should) be an easier transition. Heck, if a 19yo with no testing can drive one....

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This second race is having it all. Some good early laps from JV, and moving forward after a SC...not bad for being in a not so good car. Bizarre incident on third SC...driver stops on the start/fin line to have his exhaust checked from the wall, leaving Scott Dixon nowhere to go but up his ring piece.....

I think you'll enjoy this race better than the first one Eric.

And I think JV could make a real go of V8's...maybe he'll feel he can win in this series...he sure as hell won't in F1 or NASCAR

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