CHAZ IS ON
FORD’S Chaz Mostert posted the quickest practice lap at the Watpac Townsville 400 yesterday to signal he is a serious contender this weekend. Mostert’s lap of 1min 12.2648secs was little more than a 10th of a second outside Jamie Whincup’s record. Scott McLaughlin was second quickest yesterday at Reid Park, ahead of Shane van Gisbergen.
RACE fans tuned up for a weekend of Supercars racing at the Watpac Townsville 400 yesterday with a hectic schedule of action on and off the track.
Fans poured into Reid Park from 7.30am yesterday on the first day of the threeday event, which featured practice sessions for all competing classes.
Crowd numbers are expected to total 140,000 for the weekend.
Townsville’s Brett Barsby, who has attended the Townsville 400 every year, said it just kept getting better and better.
Brett, who is a “Holden person”, has backed Shane van Gisbergen for the win this year. Joining him for day one were sons Sebastian, 7, and Hunter, 5, who said visiting the Optimus Prime truck on display was their favourite part of the day.
The new feature attracted big numbers of fans all day, keen to get a photo opportunity with the Transformers movie character.
Jody and Eddy Zaal go to the Townsville 400 every year for a father and daughter bonding weekend.
By lunchtime they had managed three autographs and a hot- lap win with Jody’s favourite driver Adam Marjoram.
“I found out and I started bawling. Dad thought someone died,” she said.
Eddy was equally excited to have accumulated on his prosthetic leg the signatures of Jamie Whincup, Van Gisbergen and favourite driver Craig Lowndes.
Local youngster Dylan Lines, 10, said he loved the fast cars and his favourite driver was Lowndes. “I want to drive a V8 some day,” Dylan said.
Twelve- year- old Bill Sweetman was happy to get to the event after leaving Cairns with his family on Thursday night for one full day of action, before heading home late last night.
Bill said he loved sound, the smell and speed of the cars.
“My favourite driver Jamie Whincup,” he said.
Rebecca Collard, from Townsville, said she loved the V8s for the atmosphere.
“Go the Kelly boys,” she said.
The Townsville 400 continues today and tomorrow with the main races on both days at 4.10pm. Tickets are still available for the Townsville 400 through Ticketek or at the gate with prices starting from $ 30 for an adult paddock pass and kids under 12 free.