Revving up for Gold Coast 600
THEY are the young rock stars of the V8 Supercars – and boy do they put plan to put on a show on the Gold Coast in October.
Racing driver brothers Todd and Rick Kelly head up a $10 million a year business that has 50 staff, massive truck rigs, and its own high-tech centre in Melbourne to build cars and engines from almost scratch.
Join their pit crew and you really feel the pressure build moments before tyre changes and refuelling operations where micro seconds count.
The level of scrutiny the four cars and drivers are under is incredible. Race engineers hunch over laptops watching every reading possible from the car.
Inside the car, drivers experience heat of up to 65 degrees as they endure hundreds of punishing laps.
Suits with cold water pumping through them, together with oxygen into their helmets keep them from meltdown.
With their own personal trainer and chef to ensure they are in prime condition, the drivers have to be super fit to survive the gruelling conditions.
As if racing cars is not enough – some of the drivers are into triathlons and other body-punishing sports in their down time.
The Jack Daniel’s Commodore drivers have had a mixed year with the younger Rick at number four on the championship list while Todd is at number 24.
Last month, Todd announced he was putting his focus firmly back on driving, stepping down from managing the business which only started in 2009.
The Kelly brothers will be among a huge line-up of local talent who will be joined by 28 high profile international drivers for the 21st year of the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
The field includes no less than seven Formula 1 drivers – including current Hispania Racing Team F1 driver Tonio Liuzzi, who will drive alongside young Ford star Tony D’Alberto.
Off the track, a star-studded entertainment schedule has also been announced to continue the Armor All Gold Coast 600’s unique rock and race format.
The Friday night entertainment at the Broadwater Parklands will include Drapht, Potbelleez, Bag Raiders, Tonite Only and Illy.
Legendary rock acts the Hoodoo Gurus, Eskimo Joe and Masters Apprentices will blast out some home-grown hits before legendary Scottish band Simple Minds close the show the following night.
V8 Supercar chairman Tony Cochrane said the $136 three-day general admission ticket provided one of the best value for money buys in Australian entertainment.
“Fans will get three days of fantastic V8 Supercar action and two nights of some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest acts – I am not sure where you can get all that for $136 bucks,” he said.
This year’s event will also include the Porsche Carrera Cup, V8 Utes, Touring Car Masters and Formula Ford.
GOLD COAST 600 TICKETS
Tickets for the event are at Ticketek.com or by phoning 132 849.
Tickets start at just $51 for a single Friday ticket, while three-day passes, which also provide admission to both Friday and Saturday night concerts, start at $136 – $10 more you can receive a flexi stand seat which provides access to five grandstands around the circuit.
Children under the age of 12 are admitted free with a paying adult, while children under the age of three are permitted to sit on the lap of their parents in grandstand seats.
WHERE TO STAY
ONE of the most spectacular places to stay right near the course is the newly renovated Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa.
It provides five-star deluxe accommodation, outstanding service, has a heated saltwater lagoon with 400 tropical fish as well as award-winning restaurants and bars.
Go to www.surfersparadisemarriott.com.au for more details.
MORE ADRENALINE FUN
IF you want to experience what it is like to drive a V8 supercar, check out Australia’s most advanced Racing Simulation Centre on Orchid Avenue.
You can race against your mates in full-motion, surround screen and sound simulators.
For some heart-racing fun on water, check out Jet Boat eXtreme from the Titanium Bar Jetty in Ferny Avenue.
And for a more tranquil lunch, SkyPoint, beachside observation deck on Level 78 of the Q1 tower has amazing views of the whole Gold Coast.
* The writer was a guest of Gold Coast Tourism