The heart of Surfers Paradise was beating to the sound of V8 engines on Sunday as Red Bull Racing Australia drivers Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell drove into town to build excitement for this week’s Gold Coast 600.
Fans, shoppers and Gold Coast locals – Olympic triathlete Courtney Atkinson and surf ironman Matt Poole, were given the chance to experience the rush of a V8 Supercars pit stop as they competed in the People’s Pit Stop Challenge which took place in busy Cavill Mall.
Spectators where then treated to a special Sound Out with Jamie and Paul taking to the streets of the glitter strip for two demonstration laps in a race-spec VF Holden Commodore and Holden Sandman Tribute Edition built by Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Jamie, who won last year’s Gold Coast 600 Sunday race with endurance co-driver Paul, said his home race was always a special event to compete in.
“For me the Gold Coast event is pretty special, I live up the road so it feels like a home environment for me with cracking racing going on right next to the beach,” Jamie said.
“We’ve done well here in the past, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. This year we’re going to have to grind it out and it would be great to make up for the not so flash Sandown and Bathurst weekends.”
Fresh from a record sixth Bathurst 1000 win, Red Bull’s Craig Lowndes said he and co-driver Steven Richards will look to continue their momentum as the race for the driver’s championship intensifies and the PIRTEK Enduro Cup enters its final round.
“We’re both feeling really confident at the moment,” said Craig, who sits second in the championship 399 points behind leader Mark Winterbottom.
“Obviously when you come off the back of such a big event like Bathurst you really absorb it all and take it all in. We’re looking forward to the challenge the Gold Coast brings especially as it’s such a short turnaround.
“Every round that goes by now will be make or break. I think now we understand where we are and who the major players are in the championship hunt. We’ve going to have to make sure we stay in front of them and of course try to win as many races as we can here on in.”
This year’s Gold Coast 600 begins with practice on Friday October 23 followed by a pair of 102-lap endurance races which take place around the 2.96KM street circuit on both Saturday and Sunday.