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Apr 18, 2013 - 05:11 PM
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Aussie V8 Supercars Stars Head To Austin Early
Posted by: newsla on Apr 18, 2013 - 05:05 PM
Sports Cars
Aussie V8 Supercars Stars Head To Austin Early


Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney will this weekend become the first V8 Supercar driver to tackle the stunning Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas, and just the second internationally acclaimed Australian after Mark Webber.

 

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Courtney (pictured right) flies to Texas this week on the back of HRTs form resurgence in Tasmania and New Zealand in the past two weeks and will be joined by Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard. V8 Supercars makes its debut at the Circuit of The Americas on May 17-19 for the Austin 400.

The ex-Formula One test driver, World Karting Champion and British Formula Ford Champion Courtney will pilot the V8 Supercar "Car of the Future" Holden Commodore for exhibition laps during the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin this weekend.

Courtney and Coulthard will then remain in Texas after the MotoGP weekend for a series of media and promotional engagements, including cutting passenger laps early next week.

“I’m pretty excited, and also in front of a big crowd,” Courtney said.

“It’s going to be good, it’s a great opportunity to be the first guy to drive a V8 Supercar on American soil is pretty cool; something I never dreamed of. The facility looks amazing and I can’t wait to get over there.”

New Zealander Coulthard (pictured right) is in the best form of his career with race wins and pole positions this year. He comes off a race win in his home country last weekend.

“We are both pretty excited,” Coulthard said.

“It’s a good opportunity to get an early look at the track and do some rides for some people. We will also get to have a look around and see the sights before everyone else.

“When we race there we will all be on a level playing field which again should be good for us. No-one has got any history or any data. I’m excited, can’t wait to cut a few laps on an enjoyable track that is second to none.”

Click the video link above to view Courtney's first impressions of the new V8 Supercar Car of the Future.

Bright triumphs in New Zealand

Former teammate wins first Jason Richards Trophy

Ex-Indy Lights racer Jason Bright was a fitting winner of the inaugural Jason Richards Trophy by triumphing at the most recent round of V8 Supercar action in New Zealand.

Bright and Richards were teammates at Brad Jones Racing in 2010 in what turned out to the New Zealander's final full season before he died of cancer the following year.

The Jason Richards Trophy was awarded for the first time this year for the V8 Supercars' return to Pukekohe Park Raceway near Auckland.

While the victory was meaningful, it was a special celebration as Bright hoisted Richards' daughter Sienna in his arms and hugged Richards' wife Charlotte who presented him with the Jason Richards Trophy.

"I got a message from Charlotte during the week passed on from Sienna saying that she wanted to present the trophy to me this weekend – talk about putting the pressure on," Bright said.

"I think it sums it up. Car 8 wanted to win this race, the whole team wanted to take that trophy back to Albury. I was awake last night thinking about it."

Bright finished the weekend with results of 2nd, 4th, 6th and 1st over the four weekend races to score the maximum points.

Ready for "contact sport" in Austin

Courtney predicts plenty of action at the Austin 400.

2010 V8 Supercar champion James Courtney is the latest Australian guest columnist for SPEED.com.

The Holden Racing Team driver is an ex-Formula 1 test driver whose Grand Prix ambitions were derailed by a massive testing crash at Monza in Italy in 2002. Suspension failure on his Jaguar F1 car caused Courtney to suffer a 190mph crash with an incredible 67G impact.

The talented Australian is a former World Karting, British Formula Ford and Japanese Formula 3 champion. While he has massive international experience, the Gold Coast-based star is now more than happy to be banging wheels with best in the V8 Supercar championship.

"I think Americans will enjoy the Aussie V8 Supercar race at Circuit of The Americas in May," Courtney told SPEED.com.

"Our cars are not too dissimilar to NASCAR, which has a huge following in the U.S. If we can tap into at least 10 percent of that, it’ll be a huge audience.

"Everyone in the championship is pretty keen that we’ll have a good crowd and put on a good show for everyone. Like NASCAR, we’re a contact sport. We rub panels and push each other around, which makes the racing very exciting.

"Also like NASCAR, the race cars look very similar to the road cars. People can relate to the cars that we have. Plus, with the close, aggressive racing, people really enjoy it and have a great race weekend.

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