James Courtney took time today to take good mate, Marino Franchitti for a ride around the Armor All Gold Coast 600 circuit on the Surfers Paradise day as the international drivers begin to descend on the city for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 next weekend.
Stopping by the Surfers Paradise Marriott Hotel for a coffee, Courtney said the Armor All Gold Coast 600 is one the drivers all love.
“The Gold Coast is one of the best events of the year. Not just because its my home race but because of everything that goes with it,” the V8 Supercar Champion said.
“It really is something special for the drivers, teams and the fans. There is always plenty of action on and off the track.”
Franchitti – who is married to the daughter of Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason – will link up with Warren Luff in the Gulf Western Oils Commodore, whilst Courtney will welcome current Indianapolis 500 Champion – Dan Wheldon to his Toll HRT machine.
The Scotsman has seen everything the Gold Coast has to offer on the occasions he’s been here to watch brother, Dario compete, but it will be the first time personally that he’s attacked the streets of Surfers Paradise.
“The amount of interest this event has attracted internationally has been enormous,” said Franchitti.
“I am really happy to be here and cannot wait to get into the car for the first time at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday.
He’s been in Australia for nearly two weeks, heading to Bathurst to familiarise himself with the sport and also the Gulf Western Oils team – where he’ll join Warren Luff next weekend.
“I teased myself a bit by going to Bathurst to have a look and have learnt as much as I can about these cars.
“James and I have been mates for several years and it is always great to get out here and do some training with him and have the families hang out.”
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 week begins tomorrow with Mark Skaife holding a press conference to announce his future in the sport. With the bulk of the internationals arriving over the next two days, preparations will really ramp up on Wednesday at the Queensland Raceway test.
Both Franchitti and Courtney will be eagerly watching the IZOD IndyCar Series finale from Las Vegas in the morning – with the elder Franchitti brother sitting atop the points table and Courtney’s co-driver, Dan Wheldon chasing a $5m bounty.
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will feature all 28 V8 Supercars racers with international drivers and on Friday and Saturday nights, ticketholders will have free access to the 600 Sounds Concert Festival – headlined by the likes of Bliss N Eso and the Potbelleez, along with Scottish rock legends Simple Minds and the Hoodoo Gurus. Tickets are available from ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.