Brisbane shoppers get a taste of the Armor All Gold Coast 600
Office workers and lunchtime shoppers were treated to taste of what can be expected at next week's Armor All Gold Coast 600 when they stood metres from a random V8 Supercar pit stop in the middle of Edward Street today. The usual lunchtime bustle was taken to a whole new level when the TeamVodafone Holden of Jamie Whincup rumbled through the streets before meeting a full pit crew at the end of the Queen Street Mall. The stunt was part of filming for a 90-second video, which is set to promote next week's event to a massive international audience. Some of the crowd were first alerted to the activity when Whincup's co-driver Andrew Thompson started running down Queen Street Mall in full race suit and helmet - arriving just in time to meet the car. The car stopped before the TeamVodafone mechanics rushed to the scene, changing the tyres and switching drivers - sending Thompson off down the road. As quickly as it happened - it was over - the crew packing all their gear into the back of a van and disappearing. "That was pretty cool," said Whincup, who is also a Queensland Government sporting and event ambassador. "The look on the faces on the people standing on the side of the streets was amazing. I guess if I was sitting out in the sun eating my sandwich for lunch and a 700-horsepower Commodore came roaring past I would be a little surprised as well. "Hopefully everyone in Brisbane got a bit of a feel of what this is all about and will head down to see us race on the Gold Coast next week." Queensland Sport Minister, Phil Reeves MP, was an interested spectator at today's pit stop. "A V8 Supercar roaring around Brisbane streets is not something you see every day but hopefully it will entice people to come to the Gold Coast for more V8 Supercars action next weekend," said Minister Reeves. "The Armor All Gold Coast 600 is an iconic Gold Coast event that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike and Queenslanders of all ages. "From racing to rock, the Gold Coast 600 is one of South-East Queensland's signature events. And having a champion team and champion driver like Jamie Whincup bringing a taste of it to Brisbane shows just how big this event is going to be." Next week, the car will be racing around different city streets when the Armor All Gold Coast 600 fires into life around Surfers Paradise. Australia's 28 V8 Supercars heroes will be joined by 28 internationals from 12 countries - including four Indy 500 Champions, eight drivers with Formula 1 race experience - including current racer, VitantonioLiuzzi, Le Mans winners and World Champions in numerous disciplines. It is the most diverse group of racecar drivers to assemble and compete in a Championship event anywhere in the world. The 2010 Armor All Gold Coast 600 Champion, Whincup - who dropped out of the V8 Supercars Championship lead at Bathurst last week - is fired up ahead of the Gold Coast race, where he will be partnered by four-time Champ Car champion and former F1 competitor Sebastien Bourdais. "The international format introduced last year worked really well, it added a new level of excitement to the Gold Coast race and I think with 28 internationals in the cars this year, it's going to step up even further," said Whincup. "It's exciting to think that I'll be sharing the track with IndyCar Champions, a current Formula 1 racer like Tonio Liuzzi and a five times Le Mans Champion in EmanuelePirro - who I watched racing F1 when I was growing up. "These guys racing for points in our Championship adds another element to it - and this situation is unique in world motorsport. Obviously I have a bit of work to do after Bathurst, but the Championship still has a long way to go. "Sebastien and Andy Priaulx (TeamVodafone's other international driver) will do a solid job for us. Andy has raced with the team before and Sebastien took to V8 Supercars like a duck to water last year." The Armor All Gold Coast 600 features the best of V8 Supercars racing around the 2.96km Surfers Paradise Street Circuit - along with the nightly 600 Sounds concert festival - headlined by international rockers, Simple Minds. Racefans are encouraged to Embrace the Race by dressing up in the colours of their favourite drivers' nation or fancy dress - with a $5,000 prize being up for grabs on both Saturday and Sunday of the event. Three day tickets for the event start at $136, with single day passes from $51. Every ticket guarantees entry into the nightly 600 Sounds Concert Series - The Sea FM presented Friday night concert is Gen Y focused with Hip-Hop and Dance from the likes of Bliss N Eso, The Potbelleez, Bag Raiders, Drapht, Illy and Tonite Only. Saturday - presented by Gold FM - embodies the Race all Day, Rock All Night concept of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 with Scottish legends Simple Minds headlining in their only Australian concert and they'll be joined by the Hoodoo Gurus, Eskimo Joe and Masters Apprentices.