Le Mans legend excited by GC600 chance

Emanuele Pirro

Emanuele Pirro

Le Mans legend Emanuele Pirro says he’s excited to have received a late call-up to replace Scott Dixon at this October’s Armor All Gold Coast 600.

The 49-year-old Italian will drive alongside SP Tool Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen after Dixon withdrew from the event following the birth of his first child.

Pirro won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Audi in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007 amidst a run of nine consecutive podium finishes in the classic French race.

Having also twice won the American Le Mans Series (2001 and 2005) in Audis, Pirro remains an ambassador for the German marque.

Prior to his switch to sportscars, Pirro made 37 Grand Prix starts for Benetton and the now defunct Scuderia Italia team – a spell which included three visits to Adelaide for the Australian Grand Prix.

“The chance to race on the Gold Coast is just fantastic,” said Pirro.

“I would like to thank Audi, being their brand ambassador, for having given me the permission to drive. I love street circuits and have lots of great memories from Down Under, I can’t wait to arrive.

“To join a young driver like Shane will be cool and I look forward to meeting him and sharing stories with each other and learning all the secrets of the V8 Supercars.

“He has had a lot of success this year already and watching last year’s race – he is clearly very good around the Gold Coast circuit. I’ve seen it on television over the years and its very unique – being right next to the beach.

“To come to Australia and race an endurance race on one of the world’s best known and most challenging street circuits will be great fun.”

While Pirro has retired from full-time racing, he is the ninth driver to sign-up for the Gold Coast 600 that has Formula One experience.

The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will take place across the October 21-23 weekend.

See below for the event’s revised driver line-up. Note: Drivers pairings are yet to be confirmed.

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 Emanuele Pirro
#11 Pepsi Max Crew Greg Murphy Oliver Gavin
#12 Triple F Racing Dean Fiore Dean Fiore Gianni Morbidelli
#14 Jana Living Racing Jason Bargwanna Tony Kanaan
#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 Lucas di Grassi
#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

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