Townsville 500

Townsville 500

My third time racing at Townsville, which is a regional city of 200,000 people in Northern Queensland. Called a garrison town it is proud of its military presence. Nice winter weather, short sleeves and warm.
This is one of my favourite street circuits built in and around Reid Park in the middle of town. A concrete
jungle where you find yourself racing towards concrete barriers at speeds of up to 260kph. It’s a clockwise
track with 13 corners, 3 being acute angles including a first gear hairpin. Oddly for a street circuit it has one
of the longest straights on Oz. Also unlike many street circuits there are several good public vantage points.
We were in for 2 only 29 lap races each preceded by a qualifying session.
SATURDAY
QUALIFYING 1
The teams 3 cars qualified worst ever. I was best on P9, Dean Fiore on P12, and Morgan Haber on P14.
Surprising as our practice times were fairly good.
RACE 1
Launched Ok and by lap 5 I was in 7th place behind the DJR boss’s son Steve Johnson. I had a good car and Steve
didn’t. It isn’t easy to overtake Steve, so stayed right on his bumper for 3 laps, before a braking dual sent Steve down
a run off shoot. By lap 28 had closed on the lead bunch in 5th place. Waters in P2 tried an over ambitious move on
Ash Walsh in the lead sending both cars off track and giving me a welcome podium in P3.
SUNDAY
QUALIFYING 2
By now we had a well sorted car and a quali strategy that worked out really well. Went out and was soon in P5 and
finished in P3 only 0.007 seconds behind P1. Don’t know where the 0.007 went!
RACE 2
Another acceptable launch with a little more wheel spin than I like but held 3rd around the first few tight corners, within
touching distance of several cars. With 31 cars on track, it feels like a miracle to get past lap 1. First 4 cars were
lapping very fast on a nicely rubbered up track. I had Paul Dumbrell hard on my tail with Waters and Walsh ahead.
It was all about consistency lap after lap, one slip up and you are history. We opened up a sizable gap on the rest of
the field and soon started lapping slower cars. By lap 10 and a safety car to clean up damage, I had a decent lead
on Dumbrell but the 3 of us at the front were making so similar times that no positional change was possible. Happily
finished with a straight car in P3.
CONCLUSION
I finished 2nd overall for the weekend, my luck had held! I remain 3rd in the championship but have closed
the gap on the leaders and opened the gap behind.
Made some progress on the Bathurst deal and hopefully a good weekend will help that along.
Next up is Queensland Raceway, first week August.
V8Supertourers getting close with the first race in September at Taupo.
Hope you are enjoying the great weather in NZ…..sorry!
Best regards,
Andre