Audi to get sneak peek inside V8 Supercars
If Audi is contemplating a move into V8 Supercars under the new Car of the Future rules in 2013, then this month’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 will certainly provide the decision makers with plenty of experiences to throw into the mix.
Audi power brokers have been delighted with the recent news that their racing ‘God’ Emanuele Pirro will drive a V8 Supercar for the first time on the streets of Surfers Paradise on October 21-23 as a co-driver with Shane van Gisbergen at Stone Brothers Racing.
Pirro accepted the drive this week after the withdrawal of Kiwi Scott Dixon because of the premature birth of his second daughter.
The former F1 driver is worshiped by Audi fans around the world after helping the German manufacturer to no less than five outright victories in the Le Mans 24-hour event in France (2000, 01, 02, 06, 07) – not to mention thirds in 1999, 03, 04 and 05.
Leading the cheers has been the team from the Audi Centre Gold Coast which is entering its second year as the event’s official vehicle supplier, which includes the provision of a sensational R8 course car, RS5 and V12 Q7 course cars for all support category races and A8, A6, A7 and Q7s for VIP transfers.
The German manufacturer has a strong motorsport pedigree globally and in Australia – teaming up with Brad Jones Racing for several years to win two national 2-litre Super Touring championships.
The company has also previously been the supplier for the V8 Supercar Safety Car program.
While a European manufacturer, the inclusion of Audi would fit perfectly with V8 Supercars’ push into the Asian markets.
The Audi Centre Gold Coast is one of the newest and largest of Audi’s new generation lifestyle dealerships in Australia.
Such is the growth of the brand worldwide, a new dealership twice the size of the impressive Gold Coast operation is scheduled to open each week in China for the next 12 months.
“Audi has such a tremendous racing heritage and when it was announced that Emanuele Pirro would be at this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 there was an instant buzz around our dealership and from our customers,” said Audi Centre Gold Coast joint dealer principal, Brett Frizelle.
“The names Pirro and Audi are synonymous when it comes to Le Mans and long distance racing and it would be great to see him add one of those famous Gold Coast 600 surfboard trophies to his cabinet in a couple of weeks time.
“As a local company we have been delighted with our relationship with the Gold Coast 600 and its organisers and the inclusion of Emanuele puts the icing on the cake for us this year.
“I am sure he will find the Audi R8 a very comfortable and familiar ride for the parade lap.”
Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves, said that while the exclusion of Dixon was regrettable, the addition of Pirro was a coup for the event.
“In the world of motorsports the name Emanuele Pirro is one of the biggest and we are delighted that he will be with us for the Amor All Good Coast 600,” said Reeves.
“It is great that a successful Queensland-based company like James Frizelle’s Automotive Group, which is already a terrific supporter of the event, will receive some extra benefit with the participation of Emanuele Pirro.
“We are counting down the days now and can’t wait for Queensland to be showcased to the rest of the world as the Events State and the Champions State.”
Armor All Gold Coast 600 General Manager Kurt Sakzewski, said that he was delighted that the signing of Pirro added to the experience of being involved in the event for Audi Centre Gold Coast.
“The team at Audi Centre Gold Coast have been terrific partners for our new-look event and the addition of Emanuele Pirro is a well-deserved bonus for them,” said Sakzewski.
“Everything is on target for another great event and we are confident of providing the Gold Coast with one hell of a party and fantastic festival we can all be proud of.”