On Sunday 26th October the air above Australia's Gold Coast will be thick with the smell of burnt methanol and burning rubber as round 18 of the Bridgestone Champ
car world series kicks off. Australia has hosted the CART event since 1991 and the week leading up to the race has become one of the area's biggest attractions.
The 2.795m (4.5km approx) street circuit is located smack bang in the middle of Surfer's Paradise which means that one of the best ways of watching
the race is from a balcony in the many surrounding apartment blocks or hotels. Unfortunately it is quite possible to attempt a hotel booking 6 months in advance
and still be met with derision: "Oh, indy week (laughs) no sorry mate we're booked out". General admission tickets start at around $150 for the 4 day event while private
corporate boxes range from $11,500 to $95,000! As previously mentioned accommodation in the immediate vicinity is near impossible to get but the Gold coast is
primarily a tourist city so it shouldn't be too hard to find a bed somewhere a little farther away.
The programme for 2003 includes:
In addition to the on-track events, people at/above/near the track can expect to see/hear/smell the following:
- Aerial displays (including F111s, choppers and the Roulettes).
- Freestyle Motocross - always impressive.
- BMX events - I'll give it a miss but usually quite popular.
- Autograph sessions - V8 and CART drivers.
- Various stunt shows - expect more bikes and other cool stuff.
- Drag racing - Including a bloody big jet-powered truck.
- Miss Indy competition - This one is always a hit.
There was talk a while back that the Gold coast Indy was under threat but thankfully (for us motor sport freaks anyway) some agreement seems to have been reached and
the future of this event is looking bright once more. Vvroooom!