Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe to tackle the Bathurst 1000
Every racing series in the world has their own gold-tier race. NASCAR has the Daytona 500, IndyCar has the Indy 500 and for F1 the Monaco Grand Prix, but for the Virgin Australia V8 Supercars Series it's none other that the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
In collaboration with United Autosports and Andretti Autosports to form Walkinshaw Andretti United, a pair of IndyCar stars will make the trip down under to tackle the daunting circuit. Andretti's Alexander Rossi and SPM's James Hinchcliffe will recieve funding from both Virgin Australia and U.S Concrete in order to make this happen, while still waiting for a main team title sponsor to be announced.
“It’s 100 per cent a bucket list item," said Rossi. "It’s in one of those six big races alongside the likes of the Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bathurst is right up there, so to be able to have this opportunity to do it with Walkinshaw Andretti United and still be close to home with the Andretti Autosport connection is very cool and I can’t wait to get started."
“It’s going to be a steep learning curve and I’m very aware of that," Rossi added. "I’ve got a few friends who are Supercars drivers, so I know how talented the competition is, and how challenging this specific racetrack is, but at the same time it’s a really exciting challenge and something that has been on my target list for a long time, we’re going to go out and do the best we can."
The pair will drive the No.27 Holden ZB Commodore, a traditional Andretti number. While for Rossi it will be the first foray behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar, Hinchcliffe will enter with some experience. Hinchcliffe has driven in two Supercar events in 2012 at the Gold Coast 600, a track Hinchcliffe has raced on in the past. However, his two starts didn't go well as he only ran a combined 69 total laps before logging DNFs in both starts.
The Oakville, Ontario driver will be eager to seek some redemption.
“The Gold Coast race some years ago was a huge blast and a bucket list thing to," Hinchcliffe added. "but for Supercars the Bathurst 1000 is their Indy 500, it is their 24 Hours of Le Mans, it’s their hallmark event so to get to add that one to the résumé is very special."
“For sure it’s a big ask, we are neophytes to the car, to the track, to everything involved," added Hinchcliffe "but I think we are both competitive and Alex is an immensely talented guy, a very driven guy, and together we can push ourselves and the team and hopefully not make ourselves look too silly."