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Two-driver format calls for V8 USA debut

Speedcafe.com

Friday 1st July, 2011 - 11:58am

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IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti and Kiwi Scott Dixon

IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti and Kiwi Scott Dixon

There are early calls for the V8 Supercars debut in the United States to include a two-driver format, similar to the Armor All Gold Coast 600.

V8 Supercars announced today a landmark five-year deal with the yet-to-be-constructed Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Australia’s leading motorsport category will compete at the new circuit from 2013 onwards.

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Leigh Diffey, former V8 Supercars commentator and now a lead caller for Speed TV in America, says that the twin 200km format would attract a lot of interest from America’s finest NASCAR, IndyCar and sportscar stars.

“They (V8 Supercars) have seen the Gold Coast 600 format become so popular, that I think that if the series chooses to go down that road with the Circuit of the Americas event, they’d have an overwhelming amount of interest from the best drivers we have in the ‘States,” Diffey said on Speed.com.

The Armor All Gold Coast is one of V8 Supercars' most popular events

The Armor All Gold Coast is one of V8 Supercars' most popular events

“If they were to do an interesting format like they do at the Gold Coast, and invite guys like Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Juan Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and run down the list of the IndyCar guys and sports car drivers, I think you’d give fans of all forms of racing a perfect reason to head to Texas to watch V8s.

“With Ford and (GM owned) Holden as the two big manufacturers in V8s right now, and who knows, there could me more manufacturers by the time they come here in 2013, I think it could be a very popular event.”

A date for the inaugural event has not been announced, although it may be difficult to attract NASCAR stars due to their heavy commitments in their 36-event calendar.

Three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti raced a V8 last year at Surfers Paradise and says the Gold Coast 600 format would be a good fit in Texas.

“I love the V8 series, it’s a great championship,” he told Speed.com.

“This move was a masterstroke by the Circuit of the Americas guys. If they add in a bunch of guest drivers like they do at Surfers, it would be great. I hope the race gets the kind of support it deserves from race fans. I really do.”

Australian IndyCar title contender Will Power was just as excited about V8s journey to America in 2013.

“If they ask me (to race), I’m there,” Power said.

“The racing is just amazing. From what I’ve seen of the (Circuit of the Americas) layout, it’s going to be a great facility. I’m so pumped about this.”

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