Nikon Indy 300
|Nikon Indy 300|
|Circuit||Surfers Paradise Street Circuit|
|Circuit length km||4.47|
|Circuit length mi||2.79|
|Race length km||269.88|
|Race length mi||167.70|
|Most wins driver||2 by Sébastien Bourdais|
|Most wins constructor||Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (6)|
|Winning team||Team Penske|
|Second team||Target Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Third team||Rahal Letterman Racing|
|Pole driver||Will Power|
|Pole team||KV Racing Technology|
|Fastest lap driver||Dario Franchitti|
|Fastest lap team||Target Chip Ganassi Racing|
The Nikon Indy 300 was an open-wheel motor race event that took place at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit in south east Queensland, Australia. Known generically as the Gold Coast Indy 300, Japanese camera giant Nikon was announced as new naming rights sponsor in early August, 2008. The challenging 4.47 kilometre track has several fast sections and four chicanes.
The race had been an annual event since 1991 originally as part of the CART PPG IndyCar World Series. Then, following the split between CART and the newly formed Indy Racing League (IRL) in 1996 and the subsequent dissolution of CART in 2003, as part of the Champ Car World Series.
Following the merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series in February 2008 the future of race had been secured until 2013 as an IRL IndyCar Series event, however the race was omitted from the 2009 IndyCar Series season calendar, and subsequently dropped by the IRL completely.
The races early years were dogged by controversy as Australia's motor sport governing body the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) initially refused to sanction the event. The Queensland State Government has been largely supportive of the event while the Gold Coast City Council support at local level has varied in its level of support, even occasionally openly hostile to the event. However by the late 1990's the race had become a well attended and popular event on the Gold Coast calendar with tens of thousands of spectators attending each of the four days of the IndyCarnival.
In the 2002 event there was a frightening incident when a 9 car pile-up occurred at the start in very wet conditions - however no significant injuries were sustained. In 2003 a massive hailstorm struck the area during the race leading to a red flag. Again no injuries were sustained.
The event lost much of its lustre from 2004 as the split between American open wheel racing series started to draw teams from the Champ Car World Series across to the IRL IndyCar Series whose calendar was considerably more domestic than the well travelled Champ Car World Series. The falling popularity of open wheel racing in America has further devalued the event in recent times with NASCAR dominating the U.S. racing scene to the point where the growing influence of support category V8 Supercar removed Champ Car from top billing of the event into an equal top billing not seen at any other Champ Car event. Traditionally the CART/Champ Car race was the final event of the programme but in recent years the final V8 race has held this place.
On March 5, 2008 it was announced that the IRL IndyCar Series would travel to Australia for the first time, but due to contractural issues the race would not count towards the 2008 IndyCar Series Championship and would be a stand-alone demonstration event, in light of the recent merger between Champ Car and the IRL.
On Tuesday, November 11, after extensive negotiations with the IRL broke down, the Queensland Government reached a new five year deal with A1 Grand Prix to stage a race at Surfers Paradise, severing its eighteen year history with American open wheel racing. On February 25, 2009 it was announced that the event which combine one of the first few rounds of the 2009/10 A1GP and the 11th round of V8 Supercar Series would be produced through a partnership between IMG and the Queensland's local government. The event which formally known as the Gold Coast Indy 300 will be renamed as the SuperGP.
|Champ Car Tracks|
|Atlanta • California • Chicago • Gateway • Homestead • Las Vegas • Loudon • Michigan • Milwaukee • Nazareth • Ontario • Phoenix • Pocono • Sanair • Texas • Texas World • Trenton|
|Cleveland • Edmonton • Laguna Seca • Mid-Ohio • Montreal • Mont-Tremblant • Portland • Riverside • Road America • Watkins Glen|
|Belle Isle • Denver • Detroit • Houston • Vegas G.P. • Long Beach • Meadowlands • Miami • San Jose • St. Pete • Tamiami Park • Toronto • Vancouver|
|Assen • Brands Hatch • EuroSpeedway • Jerez • Mexico City • Monterrey • Motegi • Rio • Rockingham • Surfers Paradise • Zolder|