COLD SNAP

‘ Frosty’ Win­ter­bot­tom clinches Townsville dou­ble

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - JANE AR­MIT­STEAD CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON SA­MAN­THA HEALY

MARK Win­ter­bot­tom has taken con­trol of the V8 Su­per­cars cham­pi­onship af­ter back- to- back race wins in the Townsville 400. The Pro­drive Rac­ing Aus­tralia driver se­cured vic­tory in yesterday’s 200km race to go with his Satur­day win and take a max­i­mum 300 points from the week­end. A bumper crowd of 152,873 piled into Reid Park over the three days, the big­gest num­ber since the event’s open­ing in 2009.

REVHEADS couldn’t get enough of this year’s Cas­trol Edge Townsville 400, with the event at­tract­ing the sec­ond­largest crowd in its North Queens­land history.

A crowd of 152,873 piled into Reid Park dur­ing three days of rac­ing that fin­ished yesterday, mak­ing it the big­gest crowd since the V8 Su­per­cars’ inau­gu­ral year in Townsville in 2009.

At­ten­dance num­bers were more than 7 per cent higher than last year, with 10,000 more fans go­ing through the gates.

V8 Su­per­cars chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer James War­bur­ton said the North Queens­land event was one of the best in Aus­tralia.

“It was very clear from Fri­day that we were go­ing to have a big crowd but the end re­sult has been stun­ning,” he said.

“The big at­ten­dance in what is ef­fec­tively a re­gional area makes this easily one of the best events in the coun­try.”

The new Rock and Race for­mat, which saw con­certs on Fri­day and Satur­day nights, drew in thou­sands of rev­ellers with head­lin­ers Hill­top Hoods, Birds of Tokyo and The Liv­ing End.

Townsville En­ter­prise chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Pa­tri­cia O’Cal­laghan was con­fi­dent the event would re­main in Towns- ville de­spite bids from other re­gions, in­clud­ing Mackay, to host the event when the cur­rent deal ends next year.

“We’ve been very clear with the Premier and the Tourism Min­ster that this event is one of the sig­na­ture events for Townsville and it should hold a per­ma­nent place in our cal­en­dars,” she said.

“We have the sup­port from the com­mu­nity but it also needs lo­cal and state gov­ern- ments to back it. We’ll be ad­vo­cat­ing very strongly that this event re­mains in our Townsville cal­en­dar.”

Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk said she could see why Townsville wanted to keep the V8s.

“This is my fourth time to the V8s and we know what it means to the Townsville com­mu­nity. We want it to stay.”

Mayor Jenny Hill said she would fight to keep the event in Townsville.

“Townsville is shin­ing,” she said. “The V8s are look­ing to ex­pand into Asia and maybe we can lever­age off that.

“Not only can we sell it in the state but na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally; we have to keep it in Townsville.”

Ms O’Cal­laghan said it drew in thou­sands of visi­tors, with busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a bumper trade.

For­ward Com­man­der Track­side Act­ing In­spec­tor Brett Humphreys said the ma­jor­ity of rev­ellers had been on their best be­hav­iour.

“We had just over 80 ( of­fi­cers) at the track on Satur­day and about 70 to 75 ( yesterday).”

Mr Humphreys said three peo­ple were is­sued with no­tices to ap­pear in the Townsville Mag­is­trates Court af­ter they al­legedly jumped the fence to en­ter the event on Satur­day morn­ing.

Mean­while, paramedics had treated a to­tal of 1057 pa­tients by 2pm yesterday and trans­ported 13 peo­ple to hos­pi­tal.

Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice Se­nior Op­er­a­tion Su­per­vi­son Peter Niel­son said most pa­tients hadn’t drunk enough wa­ter or had fallen vic­tim to the ef­fects of the sun.

“It was mainly sun­screen and a few bandaids, while some other pa­tients had un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions,” he said.

“As a re­minder for next year, peo­ple need to slip, slop, slap and slurp, which means drink­ing plenty of wa­ter.”

It was very clear from Fri­day that we were go­ing to have a big crowd but the end re­sult has been stun­ning

JAMES WAR­BUR­TON

Photo: ZAK SIM­MONDS

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