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Mark Philippoussis Joins GP Celebrity Challenge

Flip lobs into GP Celebrity Challenge

Australian tennis champion Mark Philippoussis is the latest sporting hero to be announced in the Celebrity Challenge at the 2008 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

"Having a passion for cars and motor sport, I am really looking forward to the opportunity to be part of all the GP action," said Philippoussis.

"As a Melbourne boy, it will be great to see the city come alive for this event."

Standing at a very tall 193cm, there were initial concerns that Mark may not fit into the Celebrity Challenge Fiat 500. With mere cm's to spare, Mark snugly fits into the racing version of the Fiat 500, the car that has taken the world by storm.

Mark will be joined by fellow Australian 'sporting legends' from a broad range of sports, including ALF, rugby, netball, athletics, soccer, surfing, cricket and basketball.

The Celebrity Challenge grid line-up now features:

* Nathan Buckley - 280-game Aussie Rules superstar (20 games with Brisbane; 260 games with Collingwood); Brownlow medallist (2003); Norm Smith Medallist (2002); All Australian team (1996, 1997, 1998, 2001)

* Luke Darcy - 226-game Aussie Rules champion with the Western Bulldogs; All Australian team (2002); Charles Sutton Medal (Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest - 2001).

* Glenn Archer - 311-game Aussie Rules hero with the Kangaroos (North Melbourne); Players' Choice Shinboner (selected as the player most epitomizing the heart and soul of the Kangaroos); Norm Smith Medallist (1996); All Australian team (1996, 1998, 2002)

* Ben Tune - Australian Rugby Union winger; member of 1999 World Cup winning Wallaby squad.

* Nicole Pratt - icon of women's tennis; Australian Federation Cup team (1998 - 2007); fourth round Australian Open (2003 - first Australian woman to reach the fourth round in ten years); second round Sydney Olympics (2000); third round Athens Olympics (2004)

* Stephanie Gilmore - Women's surfing world champion. Gilmore; first rookie in the history of the sport to take the world title.

* Michael Slater - cricket legend; individual highlights including his 219 against Sri Lanka in Perth in 1995-96; and his brilliant home series against New Zealand in 1993-94 (which netted him 305 runs at 76.25) and England (623 runs at 62.30) in 1994-95.

* Nick Green - Olympic rower and member of Oarsome Foursome; dual Olympic Gold Medallist (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996); winner of four world titles.

* Zoe Goss - Women's cricket great; best remembered for taking the wicket of Brian Lara in the Don Bradman charity match at the SCG in December 1994.

* Shane Heal - Australian Olympic basketball champ and former NBL Rookie of the Year; best know for going toe-to-toe with NBA legend Charles Barkely in a practice game between Australia and the USA Dream Team

* Robbie Kearns - Former Melbourne Storm Captain and Australian Rugby World Cup representative.

About Mark Philippoussis

Mark started playing tennis at the age of six, beginning his professional tennis career in 1994 at the age of 19. He quickly became the youngest player in the history of the sport to end the year in the top 50. In 1996 he upset Pete Sampras in the Australian Open and in 2003 advanced to the final at Wimbledon to face Roger Federer.

In 1999 and 2004 Mark helped Australia win the APT World Team Championship title and has represented his country at the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Mark unfortunately suffered a knee injury at the 2007 Hopman Cup and spent most of the year in recovery, biding his time as the celebrity star of the reality TV series, Age of Love.

About the 2008 FORMULA 1TM ING Australian Grand Prix

The introduction of the new Fiat 500 for this year's celebrity race is one of many fresh innovations announced by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation in recent months, all aimed at ensuring the 2008 event will be the most exciting in its thirteen year history.

Racing in an exciting new format, the ever-popular V8 Supercars will return to try and determine once and for all, which is the best - Holden or Ford.

Rock icons Kiss will perform a full concert spectacular for all race-goers on Sunday, 16 March.

Kids aged 12 and under will receive free admission to this year's GP, when accompanied by a paying adult.

Ticket holders will also have the change to test their driving skill at the largest temporary go kart track in Australia, assembled especially for the Grand Prix.

The 2008 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix - Albert Park - 13 - 16 March


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