SURFERS PARADISE, Australia (AP) -- Over-exuberant fans at the Indy 300 have been urged not to cool off by jumping into the river that runs through the Surfers Paradise street course because it's full of aggressive bull sharks.
On Friday, race officials said extra security boats have been employed to keep revelers out of the waterways, fearing a shark attack at the prime feeding times of dusk and dawn. Fans arriving by boat and jet skis were urged to stay out of the water.
POWER PENALTY: At the last Champ Car race in the Netherlands, race director Tony Cotman ordered all drivers to stop using the power-to-pass buttons because of a software glitch. After the race, it was determined that some drivers didn't heed the edict, so five drivers entered in Australia will have less time to use the button. Dan Clarke, Neel Jani, Bruno Junqueira, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power will have only 35 seconds of power to pass, with the remainder of the field allowed the full 75 seconds for Sunday's race. The button raises the boost pressure inside the engine, increasing the car's speed, and is used primarily on longer straights.
AUSSIES WANT LEGGE: Team Australia co-owner Derrick Walker says he's after Katherine Legge to drive a possible third team car on the Champ Car circuit in 2008.
Legge, driving this year for Dale Coyne Racing but without a contract for next year, appears interested -- Walker and Legge, 16th in the driver standings with two races to go, were seated together at the drivers' breakfast.
``I am trying to persuade Derrick to give me a drive for next year,'' she said. ``I really want to be part of Champ Cars next year because I still have a lot to prove.''
Walker said the team is seriously considering a third car next season. Australian Will Power and Simon Pagenaud of France are the other team drivers.
``I think she deserves to be here and I don't think we have seen by any means what she can do,'' said Walker. ``Give her another year and we will see some good things.''
FIVE MORE YEARS?: Lexmark Indy 300 organizers say plans are under way to extend the race contract for another five years once the existing deal ends next year.
``Our current agreement will take us through to the 2008 event and we expect to cement a formal arrangement between the Queensland government and our event partners IMG to take us through another five-year contractual period up to and inclusive of the 2013 event,'' race chairman Terry Mackenroth said this week.
The race, held for the first time in 1991, has been heavily subsidized by the Queensland state government but tourism officials say the worldwide television exposure has been invaluable. The race usually attracts crowds of more than 300,000, one of the most well-attended events on the Champ Car circuit.
BOURDAIS ON TOP: Sebastien Bourdais will leave Champ Car for Formula One at the end of this season with a record that will likely be hard to beat: a winning percentage of 40.8 -- 29 victories in 71 races, and a 20-victory milestone that makes two other star drivers' records look average. Bourdais earned his 20th victory in his 49th start, beating the former record of 79 starts needed to reach 20 held by A. J. Foyt.
Mario Andretti was formerly second-best, winning his 20th race in his 80th start. Tony Bettenhausen (96) and Rick Mears (97) are the only other drivers to win 20 races in under 100 starts