International co-drivers set for crucial Ipswich test
Twenty eight international co-drivers will get acquainted, and reacquainted, with V8 Supercars and their respective teams at Queensland Raceway today.
Of the co-drivers racing this weekend, exactly half (14) have not competed in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 before, with only three coming back for the third time since the start of the international-flavoured event in 2010 (Ryan Briscoe, Sebastien Bourdais and Mika Salo).
There is no restriction to the amount of laps that a Primary driver is permitted to complete at the Ipswich circuit today, however, the day is essentially for the co-drivers to familiarise themselves with the unique characteristics of the cars. V8 Supercars holds the right to exclude a Primary driver from the session if it feels the team is not using the day as it is intended.
The test day will also feature simulated start practice. Four groups of seven cars will complete the stars at 1300 EST, allowing the co-drivers to get to grips with the launch techniques in a V8 Supercar.
As has been the case in past Gold Coast 600s, the vast majority of the co-drivers will likely begin the 300km, two-drivers races, making the starting practice at Queensland Raceway vital – both for safety and speedy starts.
In a move that may encourage teams to give their internationals a run on new soft compound tyres today, V8 Supercars has stipulated that one of the nine sets allocated to each car for the race weekend must be returned at the end of Friday’s fourth practice session.
The test will end at 1600 where teams will pack up and head to Surfers Paradise ahead of Friday’s practice on the street circuit.
See below for the complete entry list for the Armor All Gold Coast 600, to be held on October 19-21
Sebastien Bourdais (#1), Richard Lyons (#888)
Ryan Briscoe (#2), Darren Turner (#22), Peter Dumbreck (#66)
Tony D’Alberto Racing
Vitantonio Liuzzi (#3)
Stone Brothers Racing
Simon Pagenaud (#4), Jeroen Bleekemolen (#9), David Brabham (#47)
Ford Performance Racing
Will Power (#5), Mika Salo (#6), Nick Heidfeld (#55)
Marco Andretti (#7), Franck Montagny (#11), Graham Rahal (#15), Justin Wilson (#51)
Dick Johnson Racing
Gianni Morbidelli (#12), Max Papis (#17), Peter Kox (#18), Boris Said (#49)
Brad Jones Racing
Stephane Sarrazin (#8), Nicholas Minnasian (#14), Jamie Campbell-Walter (#21)
Marc Lieb (#19), Lucas di Grassi (#91)
Lucas Dumbrell Motorpsort
Mike Conway (#30)
Garry Rogers Motorsport
Ricky Taylor (#33), James Hinchcliffe (#34)
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 Race Guide