Another two drivers have been confirmed for the Gold Coast 600 in October, Finnish ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo for Ford Performance Racing and IndyCar’s star Graham Rahal joins Kelly Racing.
Ford Performance Racing and Mika Salo
Earlier this week, FPR announced that the veteran and former Formula 1 driver Mika Salo will join Will Davison again this year for the race in October.
The dynamic duo did relatively well last year, placing second in the first race and were perfectly poised in the second race until the car suffered a tire puncture, ruining their chances. Salo is looking forward to joining up with Will again, and is keen to finish off what they started in 2011.
"I am really happy to be coming back to the Gold Coast," Salo said, "I have unfinished business.
"Will and the team are going really well so far this season so I am very confident we can again be at the front."
Salo also speaks highly of the V8 Supercars Series.
“The Gold Coast 600 is one of the best events I have done outside of Formula 1. It is a great mix of exciting racing, a good location and a good party. I can’t wait to come back in October.”
Tim Edwards, the Team Principal of FPR, also spoke highly of Mika, indicating that he was quite a ball – despite his Finnish background!
“Everyone at the team is really excited to know Mika is coming back for the Gold Coast race as last year he proved that not only is he quick and consistent but also a lot of fun.” Edwards said.
“Unlike most Finnish drivers he is very chatty and having raced with a lot of British teams in Formula 1 he has a wicked sense of humour and fits in really well with the close-knit environment we have at the team.
Kelly Racing and Graham Rahal
Making his V8 debut, American IndyCar racer Graham Rahal will join Rick Kelly in the #15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Commodore in October. Graham joins Marco Andretti, who was announced last month, to make for an All American co-driver team.
The 23 year old is quite the rising – or risen? – star, having created IndyCar history in 2008 winning on debut at the St Petersburg Florida race and becoming only the fourth driver to do so and the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing. He was also the youngest ever podium finisher in Champ Car history after claiming 2nd at Houston in his third start. Not a bad record there…
The Ohioan expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of the race and the V8 debut.
"I was thrilled to get the call from Jack Daniel’s Racing to participate in the event. It’s definitely a big thanks to Jack Daniel’s and the Kelly group for the opportunity. The Gold Coast has become one of the marquee motorsports events for racing drivers from all disciplines and to compete with one of the premier teams in the series in my first go at it is a real honour.
"Rick himself has a very successful history in the series, so I have a great guy to lean on to get up to speed as quickly as possible and hopefully we can deliver a quality result for the team and Jack Daniel’s."
Rick also spoke highly of the IndyCar driver.
"It’s awesome to have Graham join us for the Gold Coast race. Jack Daniel’s Racing has secured two of the biggest names in American racing, Andretti and Rahal, and I am confident Graham will do an outstanding job for us. I am sure he is going to enjoy his V8 Supercar debut".
Graham can’t wait! When asked what he was most looking forward to he replied…
"Racing in Australia, back on the Gold Coast, and in a new series I’ve never run in before! It’s going to be an awesome event and I can’t wait to get down there".
We wish them all the best of luck in October!