Rick Kelly will share the drivers seat of the #15 Jack Daniels Racing Commodore with IndyCar star Graham Rahal, at this years V8 Supercars' Armor All Gold Coast 600.
Rahal is making his V8 Supercars' debut at Surfers Paradise, but is no stranger to the street circuit, having competed in the 2007 Champ Car race, where he set the race-lap record time and also the last IndyCar race held on the Gold Coast in 2008.
The 23 year old, from Columbus Ohio made his Champ Car debut in 2007 and became the youngest ever podium finisher in Champ Car history after claiming 2nd at Houston in his third start. His season included four podium finishes.
Rahal then created IndyCar history in 2008 when he won on debut at the St Petersburg Florida race, becoming only the fourth driver to do so and the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing.
In 2010 Graham signed to drive for his fathers team, Rahal Letterman Racing, co-owned by IndyCar legend (and 1986 Indy 500 winner) Bobby and veteran American television night show star, David Letterman, at the Indianapolis 500. Graham qualified seventh and finished twelfth.
Since 2011, Rahal has raced for the multiple IndyCar Championship winning team of Chip Ganassi Racing with primary sponsorship from TBC Retail Group and its tyre and automotive service brands including Tire Kingdom, NTB-National Tire and Battery, Merchant's Tire and Auto Centers, Big O Tires and Midas.
Grahams Ganassi teammates Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon have both competed in V8 Supercar races on the Gold Coast.
On announcing the signing Rick Kelly said, Its awesome to have Graham join us for the Gold Coast race. Jack Daniels 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 Rahal was equally enthusiastic about the Armor All Gold Coast 600, I was thrilled to get the call from Jack Daniels Racing to participate in the event. Its definitely a big thanks to Jack Daniels 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 Daniels.
What is Graham most looking forward to?
Racing in Australia, back on the Gold Coast, and in a new series Ive never run in before! Its going to be an awesome event and I cant wait to get down there.
What result is he aiming for?
I want to win! Thats what we go racing for. Certainly a top 10 would be awesome and getting back in the race for 2013 would be ideal!
The 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.