Possibly the strongest open-wheel field ever assembled for the streets of Surfers Paradise has been confirmed for next week's Nikon Indy 300, October 23-26
A total of 24 drivers will hit the track next weekend to form the biggest Surfers Paradise field since 2001 – including three former Gold Coast race winners, ten 2008 IndyCar Series race winners, five Indy 500 champions and the famous racing families of Rahal, Andretti and Foyt.
The five former Indy 500 winners include reigning winner and IndyCar Series champion - Brisbane-born Kiwi Scott Dixon.
The return of former drivers Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser to Surfers Paradise as team owners will bring the total number of former Gold Coast race winners on track to five.
Andretti and Rahal will watch on from pit lane as their sons, Marco and Graham, both IndyCar Series race winners, go at it on one of the world's most demanding street courses.
AJ Foyt IV, the grandson of four-time Indy 500 winner, 1992 Gold Coast race entrant and current IRL team owner, AJ Foyt, will also be making his Queensland debut.
The field will also include high-profile female driver Danica Patrick, who became the first woman to win a major open-wheel event when the IndyCar Series headed to Japan earlier this year.
On top of that there will be the return of some of the biggest team names in open-wheel racing the likes of Penske, Ganassi, Andretti-Green and Newman/Haas/Lanigan.
The combination of the IndyCar Series field compliments an impressive field of 29 cars that will compete in Round 11 of the V8 Supercar championship on the same weekend.
Nikon Indy 300 General Manager Greg Hooton said he was thrilled at the depth and quality of the field which he suggested could produce one of the greatest races ever on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
"This is one of strongest ever fields we have assembled for the Nikon Indy 300 – the quality of the names on this entry list is just phenomenal," said Hooton.
"The quality and depth of the IndyCar and V8 Supercar fields and the variety of out support program means that we again have one of the truly great festivals in world motorsports and that is something we can all be tremendously proud of.
"Ticket sales for the event have been strong and I am sure the confirmation of this quality field will be the icing on the cake for so many race fans. A race win at the Gold Coast is a box so many of these guys want to tick, including our own local contingent of Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon and I am sure their desire is going to give us a fantastic race."
FAST FACTS ON THE 2008 NIKON INDY 300 FIELD:
- A total of 24 drivers will line-up in next week's race.
- The field will include three former Gold Coast race winners – Dario Franchitti, Bruno Junqueira and Ryan Hunter-Reay
- The field includes ten 2008 IndyCar Series race winners Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Dan Wheldon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson
- The field also includes five former Indy 500 winners including Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice.