I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s event – the Watpac Townsville 400!
I really enjoy this track, it’s a street style circuit – there’s a lot of big inside curbs plus a few bumps and twists over the back half of the track – so it makes for interesting and fun racing!
The track is about 2.68km in length. The average speed is 144km/h and the top speed is reached into turn 1 at 260km/h.
This weekend is a 400km race format, split into 200kms on Saturday and 200kms on Sunday. It’s one of the gruelling events of the year because it’s extremely hot and is 70 laps in length, which is tough on the body in the weather conditions.
My very first time racing at Townsville was when the track opened in 2009, when I was racing for Walkinshaw Racing in the Bundy Red car and I remember it was such a hard race. I think I qualified 13th and 14th – I went ok. Something went wrong during the race though and I went a lap down and during the safety car, I accidently crashed into Whincup who was the race leader, I nearly turned him around…whoops! That certainly wasn’t one of my finest moments…
Last year I managed to qualify 8th and 4th and finished 9th and 11th in the races – after placing 3rd in the top ten shootout. So I had a pretty good run last year. The top ten shootout is one of the more fun shootouts of the year. Having the circuit all to yourself is pretty cool!
The Townsville 400 has a really good atmosphere; the whole town gets behind the event. It’s a nice warm event, so when we’re in Melbourne at this time of the year in the freezing weather, it’s nice to go up there and get some sunshine and blue skies!
I’m really hoping we have a strong weekend. It would be ace to win both races and get pole position, which would really help me in the Championship points! I’m currently sitting 3rd and 300 points off the lead, so I’m really focused on climbing that Championship ladder.
Hope to see you in sunny Townsville! Practice kicks off on Friday 6th July at 11:25am AEST.