Franchitti, Wheldon, Meira debut with new teams at Australia's Gold Coast

It wasn't all fun and games at Surfers Paradise. For some IndyCar Series teams, the exhibition race on the streets of Australia's Gold Coast was a chance to get acquainted with their new drivers -- or in Dario Franchitti's case, renew old friendships, writes John Oreovicz.

Updated: November 4, 2008, 1:47 PM ET
By John Oreovicz | Special to ESPN.com

The non-championship exhibition race at Surfers Paradise, Australia, was a good news/bad news situation for the IndyCar Series.

It provided a chance for several IndyCar Series teams to work with new drivers in racing conditions to get a head start on the 2009 season.

But more than five months will pass before they get to do it again in the 2009 season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dario Franchitti made his return to open-wheelers with Target/Ganassi ...

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