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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Armor All Gold Coast 600, Alex Davison, Shane van Gisbergen


Stone Brothers Racing
August 31, 2011

With the AFL and NRL regular seasons coming to a close this weekend, players from the Gold Coast Titans and Suns met with leading V8 Supercar drivers – Shane van Gisbergen and Alex Davison – in Surfers Paradise today to mark the 50 day countdown until the next major sporting event on the Coast – the Armor All Gold Coast 600, October 21-23.

Van Gisbergen and Davison were joined by Titans Captain, Scott Prince and Hooker, Matt Srama, along with two of the Gold Coast Suns best young stars – Tom Nicholls and Piers Flanagan.

Both the Suns and Titans play their final home games on Saturday – the Suns bouncing down against Hawthorn at 1:10pm at Metricon Stadium and the Titans up against the Parramatta Eels at Skilled Park from 7:30pm in a massive day of sport on the Gold Coast.

“The Gold Coast 600 is a great event and the V8 Supercars are a huge part of the Gold Coast sporting landscape,” said Titans Captain, Scott Prince. “I’ve been the last few years to the event and had a hot lap last year, which really highlighted to me how fit you need to be to drive a V8 Supercar for up to 200 kilometres around this circuit.

“Plenty of the Titans follow the V8 Supercars closely and a number of the boys will take time out from our off-season break to be here come October 21-23.”

Geelong-raised 19-year-old Gold Coast Sun, Piers Flanagan had his first Armor All Gold Coast 600 experience last year – and will be back this year.

“With the Suns and Titans wrapping up our seasons this weekend, the Gold Coast 600 is the next big event for the Coast,” said Flanagan. “I came to the event last year with a few of the boys – it was loud, colourful and a great weekend.

“It’s fantastic that we have so many of these big sporting events on the Gold Coast. With many of us at the Suns being new to the Coast and being young guys, events such as the Gold Coast 600 are great opportunities to get together and build team morale. I’ll be there for sure in October cheering Alex and Shane on.”

28 drivers from around the world will join Australia’s best racers on the streets of Surfers Paradise for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 – the 21st time that the city has been transformed into one of the world’s most exciting and challenging race circuits.

Van Gisbergen came so close to being the hero last year – putting Jamie Whincup under enormous pressure in one of the best V8 Supercar races in the modern era.

His 2011 season has been solid – featuring two race wins in the SP Tools SBR Falcon. He aims for retribution come October 21-23 when he teams up with former Indianapolis 500 winner – and fellow Kiwi – Scott Dixon:

“Last year was an epic race, to see the crowd here in Surfers get right into it as I was chasing down Jamie was fantastic,” van Gisbergen said. “But of course, I wasn’t happy with finishing second.

“We’ve got Scott Dixon on board this year, who’s one of the best in the world as a former IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 Champion – and he’s got unfinished business at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 too – so we’ll be out there pushing.”

With construction due to begin on the 2.96 kilometre Surfers Paradise circuit in mid-September, van Gisbergen praised the construction team and V8 Supercars in being able to turn a parkland into a race circuit in such a short period of time.

“It’s hard to believe that this space will go from being a public park to a fully functioning race circuit in 50 days time, it’s mind-blowing.”

Davison’s preparations for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 are stepping up a notch as well and he expressed his enjoyment of the football codes throughout the year.

“Between the NRL, the AFL and V8 Supercars, there’s no doubt the Gold Coast is one of the sporting hubs of Australia,” Davison said. “It’s awesome these guys have taken time out of their schedule to come down and wish us all the best for the Armor All Gold Coast 600.

“Once the football season is finished after this weekend for these guys, it’s time to focus on V8 Supercars and we’ve got some huge events coming up – none bigger than what fans will see right here in Surfers Paradise.”

Davison – who will be partnered with Porsche GT factory ace – Marc Lieb from Germany – is pumped for the event on the streets of the city he now calls home.

“Marc and I have raced together before when I was racing for the Porsche factory in Germany,” Davison continued. “He’s a great guy, however racing a right hand drive V8 Supercar should be a bit different to what he’s used to. Nevertheless, I’m very confident he’ll do a fantastic job for us at IRWIN Racing.”

The Armor All Gold Coast 600 comes at a critical time for the V8 Supercars Championship.

It will be the first event after the L&H 500, Phillip Island and Supercheap Auto 1000, Bathurst endurance races. Adding a further element – most of the international competitors – whilst incredibly talented in their own right – have little to no experience in V8 Supercar competition.

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