Besnard has high hopes on home soil
GOLD Coaster David Besnard has his feet planted firmly on the ground but he remains determined to take the challenge up to the world's best Champ Car drivers at the Gold Coast Indy this weekend.
Besnard will fly the Australian flag on the beachside street circuit at Surfers Paradise after securing a one-off drive for the event.
"I am under no illusions about what I have to do this weekend or what my chances of winning the race are," he said.
"I won't be going out there to win the race but I'll be looking to put on a good show and just soak up the experience. If I can race in the top 10, that'd be excellent."
The Gold Coast-based V8 Supercar driver, the 2000 US Formula Ford champion, will line up in Reynard as part of the Craig Gore-backed WPS Racing Team.
He will be the first Australian to compete in the Gold Coast race since Jason Bright in 2000, a move that Indy Chairman John Cowley believes will provide extra interest for local motor racing enthusiasts.
"Besnard has a strong following in Australia, particularly among Ford fans and we are confident he will do a solid job," Cowley said.
Meanwhile, a power boost at the push of a button adds another new dimension to this weekend's race.
New push-to-pass technology introduced to the open-wheel series this season will be used for the first time on the circuit.
Drivers have been able to tap into a total of 60 seconds of extra speed in a race but it may be lifted to 75 seconds to increase excitement and overtaking opportunities on the long straights of the Gold Coast.