Armor All Gold Coast 600 field taking shape
V8 Supercars teams are locking in their international co-drivers for the 2012 Armor All Gold Coast 600, with over the half the field already set for the October event.
Triple Eight, Stone Brothers Racing, Kelly Racing and Dick Johnson Racing have confirmed their complete line-ups, with teams such as Brad Jones Racing, Garry Rogers Motorsport amongst those yet to name their internationals.
At Triple Eight, recent Gold Coast stars Sebastien Bourdais and Richard Lyons have been signed, although the exact pairings haven't been confirmed. However, it is expected Bourdais will again team with Jamie Whincup while Lyons will partner Craig Lowndes.
Stone Brothers Racing has signed Simon Pagenaud to join Lee Holdsworth, Jeroen Bleekemolen alongside Shane van Gisbergen and David Brabham with Tim Slade.
Dick Johnson Racing has locked in Max Papis, Gianni Morbidelli, Boris Said and Peter Kox alongside Steven Johnson, Dean Fiore, Steve Owen and James Moffat respectively.
Kelly Racing this week completed its line-up with newcomers Graham Rahal (with Rick Kelly), Marco Andretti (with Todd Kelly), Justin Wilson (with Greg Murphy) and Franck Montagny (with Karl Reindler) joining the four-car team.
Other confirmed drivers include Nick Heidfeld at the Bottle-O Racing Team with David Reynolds, Mika Salo reuniting with Will Davison at Ford Performance Racing, and Darren Turner at the Toll Holden Racing Team with James Courtney.
Although unconfirmed, it is expected Australia's IndyCar drivers will return to their familiar seats, with Ryan Briscoe set to again team with Garth Tander at the Toll Holden Racing Team and Will Power likely to join Mark Winterbottom at Ford Performance Racing.
Meanwhile, Brazilian duo Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran are tipped to join Tekno Autosports, while Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi is likely to reunite with Tony D'Alberto.
IndyCar drivers are set to fill out the rest of the field with Dario Franchitti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alex Tagliani, Oriol Servia, Takuma Sato, JR Hildebrand, Rubens Barrichello and Tony Kanaan likely candidates for the remaining spots.
Gold Coast 600 sportscar regulars such as Patrick Long, Oliver Gavin and Jorg Bergmeister will be competing at the Petit Le Mans on that October weekend, while a date clash with the World Touring Car Championship also takes several of the European touring car regulars out of the equation.
The 2012 Armor All Gold Coast 600 will be held on October 19 to 21.
Driver pairings for the 2012 Armor All Gold Coast 600 (in pitlane order):
#1. Jamie Whincup – Sebastien Bourdais. TeamVodafone/Triple Eight (Holden)*.
#888. Craig Lowndes – Richard Lyons. TeamVodafone/Triple Eight (Holden)*.
#33. Alexandre Prémat – TBA. Fujitsu Racing/GRM (Holden).
#34. Michael Caruso – TBA. Fujitsu Racing/GRM (Holden).
#7. Todd Kelly – Marco Andretti. Jack Daniel's Racing/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#15. Rick Kelly – Graham Rahal. Jack Daniel's Racing/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#51. Greg Murphy – Justin Wilson. Pepsi Max Crew/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#11. Karl Reindler – Franck Montagny. Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#5. Mark Winterbottom – Will Power. Orrcon Steel Racing/Ford Performance Racing (Ford).
#6. Will Davison – Mika Salo. Trading Post Racing/Ford Performance Racing (Ford).
#55. David Reynolds – Nick Heidfeld. The Bottle-O Racing/Rod Nash Racing (Ford).
#47. Tim Slade – David Brabham. Lucky 7 Racing/JR Racing-Stone Brothers Racing (Ford).
#4. Lee Holdsworth – Simon Pagenaud. IRWIN Racing/Stone Brothers Racing (Ford).
#9. Shane van Gisbergen – Jeroen Bleekemolen. SP Tools Racing/Stone Brothers Racing (Ford).
#19. Jonathon Webb – Helio Castroneves. Tekno Autosports (Holden).
#91. Michael Patrizi – Gil de Ferran. Tekno Autosports (Holden).
#2. Garth Tander – Ryan Briscoe. Toll Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Racing (Holden).
#22. James Courtney – Darren Turner. Toll Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Racing (Holden).
#66. Russell Ingall – TBA. Supercheap Auto Racing/Walkinshaw Racing (Holden).
#21. David Wall – TBA. Wilson Security Racing/Brad Jones Racing (Holden).
#8. Jason Bright – TBA. Team BOC/Brad Jones Racing (Holden).
#14. Fabian Coulthard – TBA. Lockwood Racing/Brad Jones Racing (Holden).
#17. Steven Johnson – Max Papis. Jim Beam Racing/Dick Johnson Racing (Ford).
#18. James Moffat – Peter Kox. Team Norton/Dick Johnson Racing (Ford).
#49. Steve Owen – Boris Said. V.I.P. Petfoods/Dick Johnson Racing-Nemo Racing (Ford).
#12. Dean Fiore – Gianni Morbidelli. Jim Beam Racing/Dick Johnson Racing-Triple F Racing (Ford).
#3. Tony D'Alberto – Vitantonio Liuzzi. Tony D'Alberto Racing (Ford).
#30. Taz Douglas – TBA. Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (Holden).
TBA = To be announced.
Names in italics unconfirmed.
* Bourdais and Lyons confirmed at Triple Eight but exact pairings yet to be decided.