‘ Frosty’ Winterbottom clinches Townsville double
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