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NASCAR Grand Prix Brings Monte Carlo To Albert Park

29 December 1998

A Historic First With Formula One

Melbourne, Australia - Monte Carlo comes to Albert Park at the 1999 Qantas Australian Grand Prix in March when NASCAR racing joins the support race program for the first time in the history of Formula One.

The decision to include the big American inspired V8 racecars on the program means that next years event really is Formula One With The Lot the best European and American racing.

NASCAR National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is motor sport from the American heartland, with traditional heroes like "King" Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, and it gives Australian fans another chance to see big V8-engined machines in action on the outstanding Albert Park circuit.

Thats where the "Monte Carlo" comes in: the main contenders in NASCAR racing are Chevrolets Monte Carlo, Fords legendary Thunderbird and the newer Taurus, and the Pontiac Grand Prix: left hand drive, small block V8 engined machinery capable of 350 km/h and more, commanding television viewership of about 200 million for the major US series.

Some Australian versions have been made with Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore silhouette bodies.

The customary Australian home of NASCAR for the past decade has been Bob Janes Calder Parks Goodyear Thunderdome, with occasional races on Calder Parks flat circuit and interstate.

Australian motor sport legend Jane is thrilled at the inclusion of the NASCARs on the Qantas Australian Grand Prix program.

"This is a great opportunity to expose NASCAR racing to a different audience and a very large audience," Jane says. "Having NASCARs run at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix has to be one of the thrills of my career in motor racing."

Adding interest to Australias NASCAR scene this season is V8 Supercar star Russell Ingall, who made a winning switch to the category with a first-time victory in the opening round at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, and followed it up with a very creditable podium finish in his Chev Monte Carlo on his Goodyear Thunderdome debut.

Ingall has comfortably carried his "Enforcer" tag from the Supercar tracks to the NASCAR scene, currently led by reigning champion Kim Jane from Terry Wyhoon with Ingall in third spot.

In all, 28 cars will compete in three NASCAR races during the four day 1999 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

They will be the first cars on the track and will have three outings on the opening day Thursday, March 4 for practice and qualifying sessions and a race in the afternoon.

The other two NASCAR races are scheduled for Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6.

Bob Jane T Marts will sponsor the inaugural NASCAR races at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

Courtesy Calder Park Motorsport