Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will join fellow IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe to drive a wildcard entry at this year’s Bathurst 1000.
The pair will pilot the wildcard entry at Mount Panorama for Walkinshaw Andretti United on October 13 in Supercars’ showpiece.
It’s the first race in Australia for Rossi after his famous 2016 Indianapolis 500 victory as a rookie.
The 27-year-old American said racing at Bathurst would be a highlight of his career.
« It’s 100 per cent a bucket-list item, » Rossi said.
« 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. »
Canadian Hinchcliffe drove a Commodore for Garry Rogers Motorsport as an international co-driver in the 2012 Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise.
Since then, the 32-year-old survived a near-fatal crash at Indianapolis in 2015 when he damaged an artery in his thigh and almost bled to death before returning to the track a year later to claim pole position for the 2016 Indy 500.
Hinchcliffe said returning to Supercars for such a big race was a thrill.
« The Gold Coast race some years ago was a huge blast, » he said.
« But for Supercars, the Bathurst 1000 is their Indy 500 … it’s their hallmark event so, to get to add that one to the resume, is very special.
« For sure, it’s a big ask. We are neophytes to the car, to the track, to everything involved, but I think we are both competitive and Alex is an immensely talented guy … together, we can push ourselves and the team and, hopefully, not make ourselves look too silly. »
The team will run 27 on their car – a number which has brought success to Andretti Autosport in the United States – and is the same number Rossi uses in the IndyCar series.
The entry will be Walkinshaw Andretti United’s third this year at Bathurst, alongside regular championship drivers Scott Pye and James Courtney and their co-drivers Warren Luff and Jack Perkins.