Stone Brothers Racing have confirmed their international driver line-up for this year’s Gold Coast 600, with David Brabham, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Simon Pagenaud joining Tim Slade, Shane van Gisbergen and Lee Holdsworth at Surfers Paradise.
Sports car veteran Brabham will pair with Tim Slade in the #47 Ford Falcon, returning for his second Gold Coast 600 after competing in the inaugural even in 2010. Brabham also drove for the team at the Bathurst 1000km last year which made him ineligible to compete at the Gold Coast.
“I am really looking forward the returning to SBR,” said Brabham. “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.”
Frenchman Simon Pagenaud, who currently races in the IndyCar Series, will return for his second consecutive Gold Coast 600. Pagenaud raced for Garry Rogers Motorsport last year but will be back with the same co-driver at SBR, joining Lee Holdsworth in the #4 Ford Falcon.
“I’m ecstatic to compete again in such a great event at the Gold Coast,” said Pagenaud. “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.”
Getting his first experience of the Gold Coast and the V8 Supercars Championship will be 30-year-old Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen. Bleekemolen has vast experience in sports car racing, as well as being a former DTM driver but in recent years is mainly known for his success in the Formula One supporting Porsche SUpercup, where he is a two-time champion.
Bleekemolen will join New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen in the #9 car, who last year raced with Emanuele Pirro, the Italian then a replacement for Scott Dixon who withdrew shortly after the birth of his second child.
“I’m really happy to be joining SBR and Shane for the GC600,” said Bleekemolen. “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.”
This year’s Gold Coast 600 takes place on October 20th-21st, with international drivers Sébastien Bourdais, Richard Lyons, Darren Turner, Nick Heidfeld, Max Papis, Peter Kox, Gianni Morbidelli, Boris Said and Marco Andretti the only other names confirmed so far from the 28 driver international line-up.