Aussie driving legend David Brabham will be heading back downunder to join the very experienced Simon Pagenaud and Jeroen Bleekemolen as international co-drivers with Stone Brothers Racing (SBR), for the V8 Supercars GC600 event on the Gold Coast in October.
Having competed in a number of endurance events with SBR and finishing in 5th position at the Gold Coast event in 2010, Brabham is no stranger to V8 Supercars. This will be the second time he will race in the GC600 and will co-drive with Tim Slade in the #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon.
Pagenaud teamed with Lee Holdsworth in last year’s Gold Coast race and helped steer the pair to a 3rd place podium finish. The Indycar series driver will again join Holdsworth for the endurance race, this time in the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon.
Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen may not have competed in a V8 Supercar race, but his extensive racing experience and wins in events such as the 2008 Le Mans 24 hour and the 2008 and 2009 Porsche Supercup, will ensure he and #9 SP Tools Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen are contenders for the race title.
Ross Stone, SBR Team Principal said: “All three international drivers will bring a wealth of driving experience to the team and in the past both David and Simon have placed in the top five in this event.
“Our co-drivers all want to perform as well as they can to get the best results for our cars, and I’m confident they have the skills which are required for them to finish strongly.”
Armor All Gold Coast 600 is supported by the Queensland Government through Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the state.
Lee Holdsworth and Simon Pagenaud– Car #4 IRWIN Racing:
Lee Holdsworth: “I’m really pleased to have Simon come back and drive with me as we did pretty well last year with a podium finish. “With Simon being familiar with the V8 Supercars that will definitely help us, plus we both know what we want out of the car and he is happy with the way I set the car up. I think that will all work really well.
“I’m looking forward to driving with him again because he is a great driver and a great guy, and it’s good to have him back.”
Simon Pagenaud: “I’m ecstatic to compete again in such a great event at the Gold Coast. I had a great time and a fantastic experience last year. This team has had such great accomplishments and I felt very blessed when I got a call from Ross! Reuniting with Lee Holdsworth is a tremendous opportunity.
“Lee and I really went along well last year and I managed to bring a surf board home. I will plan on bringing my A game to the table and hopefully aim for two surfboards this year.
“Lee is an awesome driver and I look forward to helping him secure the points he will need at the end of the year for his championship.”
Shane van Gisbergen and Jeroen Bleekemolen – Car #9 SP Tools Racing:
Shane van Gisbergen: “Jeroen was actually recommended to us last year, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out, but for this year it has all worked which is really good.
“Jeroen has won pretty much everything, he’s racing almost every weekend and in all different types of cars. So I think he will be able to adapt pretty quick with the one test day.
“It will be pretty cool having two drivers of Dutch heritage together. It is always hard watching another international driver in your car but hopefully we can prepare him as best we can with video and the test day. There is a lot of work to be done to make sure he gets comfortable with the car but I am sure we can do it.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen: “I’m really happy to be joining SBR and Shane for the GC600. I have followed Australian V8 Supercars for many years and think it’s one of the best racing series in the world. To be joining one of the best teams and driver in the series makes it even better.
“It’s great for the international drivers to be able to compete in this event. Hopefully we can have a strong result and I come back for more events over the next few years.
“I will have to adapt quickly to the car, as many of my international competitors have done this race many times before. But I’m really up to the challenge and think we should have a chance to do well. Personally I think it would be great if we could get a podium finish and take home a surf board.
“Of course the Gold Coast is a fantastic place to be once the racing is over, so overall it should be a great experience.”
Tim Slade and David Brabham – Car #47 Lucky 7 Racing:
Tim Slade: “I’m stoked to have Brab’s for the Gold Coast event. He is an extremely experienced guy and I think a lot of people forget just how much he has done. It’s pretty cool to think your co-driver has actually raced in Formula 1 once upon a time.
“He has driven with Stone Brothers in the past and is familiar with the car and the team so I don’t think I could pick anyone better from the list of people doing the event. He is someone that I can learn a few things from so I am really happy to have the opportunity to drive with him this year.”
David Brabham: “I am really looking forward the returning to SBR, I have driven for them at Bathurst, Phillip Island and the GC600, so I know the team well. I look forward to working with the teams other co drivers and they are very talented, so with the three of us I am sure SBR will be strong.
“Last time I raced a V8 Supercar was last year at Bathurst and my pace was the same as my team mate Alex Davidson, so I know it won’t take long to get up to speed. I know the GC600 track, as I raced there two years ago and had a 5th place finish.
“Tim Slade is in great form and the team are consistent top 10 competitors. The goal for the event would be to win, I have never won a V8 Supercars race so it would be a great addition to my CV.”