A Taste of Formula 1 at Armor All Gold Coast 600

Many Queenslanders will have their first opportunity to see and hear a modern Formula 1 car at the Armor All Gold Coast 600, October 21-23 when the Minardi 2-seater F1 ride car cuts laps of the 2.96km beachside circuit.

It adds to the International flavour of the event, which sees 28 of the world’s best drivers join Australasia’s own V8 Supercars heroes – including several with Formula 1 race experience – headed by current HRT F1 racer, Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Liuzzi’s partner at the Gold Coast 600 – Tony d’Alberto of Wilson Security Racing – recently got to sit in the F1x2 with Queensland Sport Minister, Phil Reeves. It was a slight consolation for d’Alberto who had to cancel a trip to the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix last month due to Chickenpox.

“Everyone Wants To Drive An F1…”

“As with anyone in motorsport, I love F1 and driving with Liuzzi is going to be fantastic,” said d’Alberto. “Everyone wants to drive an F1 car – sitting in it was so tempting – I just wanted to start it up and take it for a spin. I’m jealous of those who will get the chance to ride in it on the Gold Coast.”

The car – commissioned and owned by Australian entrepreneur, Paul Stoddart – is being transported to the Gold Coast as a joint initiative between V8 Supercars and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

The chauffeur for the dignitaries and celebrities fortunate enough to ride in the Minardi F1x2 machine will be Cameron McConville – fresh from the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. He joins a select, but elite group that have piloted the car, including Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell.

Based On 2005 Minardi

The car is based on a 2005-spec Minardi that carried Mark Webber in his opening Formula 1 season. With a 700-plus horsepower Cosworth engine and car weight of 545kg at his disposal, McConville is sure to set a new outright lap record on the revised Surfers Paradise street course.

“Formula 1 engines have such a unique sound and any time you get to hear one in full flight it is an awesome experience,” said McConville – who will race in the V8 Utes support category at the event.

“I’ll go one better and be actually driving it around the Gold Coast. I think it’s probably a world first – there wouldn’t be too many people that have driven a Ute and an F1 car in the same weekend!

“I’ve driven a Honda Formula 1 car before and this two-seater, but never on a circuit like this.

“I’ll be giving my passengers the ultimate F1 experience – but ensuring that they are kept safe at the same time – I want to bring the car home in one piece.”

The Armor All Gold Coast 600 – featuring the Minardi F1x2 – is a three day entertainment festival featuring on and off track activities that will please those of all ages.

Themed bars, trade stalls and the full range of team merchandise is available inside the race precinct, as well as the Dreamworld Family Fun Zone and the Disney.Pixar Cars 2 Mack the Truck tour.

On The Track

On track – the V8 Supercars are joined by Porsche Carrera Cup, the V8 Utes, Touring Car Masters and Formula Ford.

Once the racing has finished – the 600 Sounds concerts will take over the Broadwater Parklands and punters can rock all night. Friday night – presented by Sea FM is headed by Bliss N Eso, The Potbelleez, Bag Raiders, Tonite Only and leading hip-hop acts Drapht and Illy.

  • Saturday night, which is presented by Gold FM is all about rock – with Simple Minds taking the stage in their only 2011 Australian appearance. They are joined by Eskimo Joe and Aussie legends – the Hoodoo Gurus and Masters Apprentices.
  • Tickets for the October 21-23 event are available from $51 for single day tickets, three day tickets are $136. All event tickets guarantee entry into the nightly concert festival. They are available now through ticketek.com or on phone 132 849.


The Armor All Gold Coast 600 is South East Queensland’s biggest annual event and represents the third endurance race on the V8 Supercars calendar. Fresh from the Supercheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst, the 28 V8 Supercars drivers are partnered with an international star. Racers from Formula 1, IndyCar, Sports Car, Touring Car and NASCAR will be on hand in 2011 for the event –October 21-23. The V8 Supercars will be supported by Porsche Carrera Cup, the V8 Utes, Touring Car Masters and Formula Ford.