Will Power will make a return to the Surfers Paradise street circuit this year, teaming up with Ford Performance Racing for the second time in three years.
The Team Penske IndyCar star, who has finished second in the past two IndyCar seasons, will pair up with Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom.
Power’s signing has locked in all three of FPR’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 line-up, with ex-Formula 1 drivers Mika Salo and Nick Heidfeld teaming up with Will Davison and David Reynolds respectively.
After driving with the team in the inaugural ‘international-flavoured’ race in 2010, Power was set to partner Winterbottom last year before being involved in Dan Wheldon’s fatal IndyCar accident at Las Vegas. Injuries prevented Power from making the trip.
Power has endured bitter-sweet memories from the Gold Coast. He took three-consecutive pole positions at the track during the Champ Car/IndyCar period, but was not able to win the race due to a number of failings.
He says he is pleased to have secured the drive with the factory Ford team.
“I am really looking forward to coming back to the Gold Coast this year as it is now the only chance I get to race in front of a local crowd,” Power said.
“Last year’s events aside, I have enjoyed racing at Surfers Paradise for many years and it will be great to team up with Frosty who won there last year in the car I would’ve been in.
“We are in with a real chance again given the season the team is having and to be driving in the same team as my mate Will and the likes of Mika and Nick is pretty cool. I think we are going to have a lot of fun.”
FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards is pleased Power is able to come back to the team, despite his links to Chevrolet through Penske’s IndyCar program.
“Will is one of the great drivers in the world right now and while we’ve all seen what he can do in an IndyCar, his form in a V8 Supercar two years ago was equally impressive,” Edwards said.
“I’m sure he will quickly be back on the pace again this year and with familiar team-mates and engineers – it will be like getting the band back together.
“Nobody deserves a win on the streets of Surfers Paradise more than Will so I’d like to thank Roger Penske for allowing him to drive for us and hopefully we can repeat last year’s efforts and get him the win he so badly deserves.”