Townsvillians are sports mad. In a city of only 150 thousand, give or take, they have their own NRL team, their own NBL team and their own V8 Supercar race. So, how sports mad are they? Well, let’s look at it with a little thing we like to call ‘mathematics’. Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, has 2.2 million people and they only have one NRL team, one NBL team and one V8 Supercar race. Therefore, in scientific terms, Townsville is 15 times more sports mad than the capital city. FACT!* The Townsville race started in 2009 when the sports mad (as we’ve established) Townsvillians said ‘we want MORE awesome sport!!!’, so they got the best of the lot, a V8 Supercar race to call their own. The track was designed with input from a bloke called Mark Skaife and the inaugural race was won by a bloke called Jamie Whincup. Apparently he can drive a bit they say. So, with 150,000 sports mad Townsvillians, a great track and sunny, balmy, weather, it’s fair to say that the V8 world enjoys heading to the Queensland city.
CIRCUIT LENGTH - 2.86 KILOMETRES
CIRCUIT DIRECTION - CLOCKWISE
AVERAGE SPEED - 144 KM/PH
MAXIMUM SPEED - 260 KM/PH
The Townsville circuit is a ‘hybrid’ track that is based around Reid Park and the surrounding streets. It is mostly comprised of a purpose built section that features permanent pits and paddock facilities in the park. It cost a cool 30 mill, give or take, to develop but it’s worth every penny. It’s a challenging track that incorporates traditional street track features; like bumps and walls; and a more open purpose built racetrack feel. Turn one is particularly awesome, a 280kay kink, reminiscent of the notorious turn 8 in Adelaide. Best passing spots include turn 2 and turn 11. It’s only been around for 5 years but the track has quickly become a favourite amongst the drivers.
Friday (All sessions in local time)
10:10-10:30: Practice one
11:40-12:00: Practice two
12:50-13:10: Practice three
10:50-10:50: Practice four
11:40-11:50: Qualifying one
12:00-12:10: Qualifying two
14:15-15:15: Race one 125km
16:50-18:00: Race two 125km
11:00-11:20: Qualifying three
12:05-12:35: Top 10 shootout
15:55-18:00: Race three 250km
Here's where you'll catch our man Brighty:
08:45-09:15: Autograph session at team garage
13:00-13:15: VBM Merchandise area
09:30-09:50: VBM Merchandise area
13:40-14:10: Autograph session at team garage
Here's your chance to win $100 to spend at our online store: http://shop.v8supercars.com.au/teams/team-boc/ Just spend $80 or more on Team BOC gear and you go into the draw for a $100 voucher to spend at the Team BOC online store.
The Townsville round started well for Brighty last year. He qualified strongly for the first race, slotting in to fourth on the grid and finishing fifth, despite a dodgy exhaust. Sunday didn’t go to plan though with our man having a tough race, qualifying mid pack and finishing 16th.
Brighty was on the pace all weekend in Darwin, qualifying inside the top 10 for each race and looking like he was on for a top 5 result in the Sunday 200 kay race. Unfortunately a bit of wheel banging with Tander and then a penalty for spinning the rear wheels in a pit stop cruelled his chances. With the speed of the car in Darwin, Brighty is confident of a strong showing in Townsville:
“I’m confident we’ll be competitive up there. Last year we were close, got fourth or fifth in the first race. If we can qualify better I think we’re going to have pretty good race pace again.”
Team BOC co-engineer Andrew Edwards hopes the team’s focus on improving qualifying speed has paid off:
“I see areas where we can find some consistency and find that pace to get us back to being a consistent qualifier,” he said.
“I’m confident we can do it. Darwin was the first step to that to some degree but you’ve got to do it for more than one round to prove that you’ve done it.”
One thing that is beyond doubt is that Brighty and the team love heading up to Townsville.
“I love going up there,” he said.
“It’s one of those events that’s really big for the town – everyone gets behind it. It’s a great atmosphere. It’s always a lot of fun racing at those events because the atmosphere at the circuit is great as well.”
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*Preview section accepts that this is a very dubious fact.
Published: 01 July 2014.