Indy driver takes a break on Tweed
By TANIA PHILLIPS
AUSTRALIAN Champ Car driver Marcus Marshall is hungry for success in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast this weekend but yesterday he was more interested in whetting his appetite for waves at Tweed's world famous Duranbah Beach.
Marshall, born and bred on the Gold Coast, will be a true home-grown hero this weekend when he spearheads the Team Australia assault at the 4.47km Surfers Paradies street course.
As such, the 26-year-old will be the centre of attention as race action revs up, but yesterday he was content to be "just one of the boys" in the surf at D'Bah. He even star spotted noting that world ranked surfer Mick Fanning was out in the water.
"Burleigh's my home break," Marshall said after emerging from the water.
"I did a large amount of surfing when I was little. But I have been living in America. I have had a lot of my leisure time taken away and I am a long way away from the ocean."
When Marshall left the Tweed yesterday he headed straight for the Drivers Parade on the Gold Coast.
Running 15th in the championship after an impressive rookie year, Marshall means business this weekend after claiming two top 10 finishes earlier in the year.
"My start could have been even better but I was crashed into by other competitors (while in good positions in races)," he said.
Marshall is at home on the tight Surfers Paradise circuit, having raced on the undercard in 2003 (Carrera Cup) before winning the Formula Ford event in 2004.
But while a win would be a fairytale come true, Marshall is realistic.
"Top 10 has been my goal for the year," he said.
"But you never know what a home race could bring out - maybe something special."
Toowoomba's Will Power will also be hoping the home track advantage pays off this weekend when he makes his maiden Indy start for team Australia.
The 25-year-old will have his track orientation with the other drivers today with practice starting formally on Friday and the race being held on Sunday.