Two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will partner James Courtney in October’s Armor All Gold Coast 600.
Wheldon’s signing is another major boost for the international event, which will also feature fellow Indy 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.
The announcement leaves just two seats for the international event vacant, with co-drivers for Jonathon Webb and Jason Bargwanna still to be confirmed.
In addition to his 2005 and 2011 Indy 500 triumphs, Wheldon is a former winner of the IndyCar Series (2005), IndyCar Rookie of the Year award (2003) and the Daytona 24 Hour sportscar race (2006).
Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves, said the signing of the 33-year-old US-based Englishman is a great move for the Toll Holden Racing Team and the event.
“The story of Dan Wheldon winning the Indy 500 in a one-off drive is one of the great sports stories of 2011,” said Reeves.
“Just when you thought the depth of the international field could not get any better, Dan signs with HRT to create a terrific combination with the Gold Coast’s own James Courtney.
“The Bligh Government is a big supporter of this internationally-recognised event and we look forward to it showcasing the Gold Coast and Queensland to more than 130 countries around the world.”
The 2011 Armor All Gold Coast 600 will take place from October 21-23.
See below for the current driver line-up. Note: Actual driver pairings yet to be confirmed are in italics
|Car||Team||V8 Driver||International Driver|
|#1||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Dan Wheldon|
|#2||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Ryan Briscoe|
|#3||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Vitantonio Liuzzi|
|#4||IRWIN Racing||Alex Davison||Marc Lieb|
|#5||Orrcon Steel FPR||Mark Winterbottom||Will Power|
|#6||Trading Post FPR||Will Davison||Mika Salo|
|#7||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Richard Westbrook|
|#8||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Stephane Sarrazin|
|#9||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Scott Dixon|
|#11||Pepsi Max Crew Greg Murphy||Greg Murphy||Oliver Gavin|
|#12||Triple F Racing Dean Fiore||Dean Fiore||Gianni Morbidelli|
|#14||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||TBC|
|#15||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Jorg Bergmeister|
|#16||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Alex Tagliani|
|#17||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Dirk Muller|
|#18||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Joey Hand|
|#19||Mother Energy Drink Racing||Jonathon Webb||TBC|
|#21||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Fabrizio Giovanardi|
|#30||Gulf Western Oils Racing||Warren Luff||Marino Franchitti|
|#33||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Simon Pagenaud|
|#34||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Augusto Farfus|
|#39||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Jan Magnussen|
|#47||Lucky7 Racing||Tim Slade||Helio Castroneves|
|#49||VIP Petfoods Racing||Steve Owen||Boris Said|
|#55||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Christian Klein|
|#61||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Patrick Long|
|#88||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Andy Priaulx|
|#888||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Sebastien Bourdais|