FAMILIES MAKE IT PERFECT
CROWD numbers were slightly down but enthusiasm for the Townsville 400 remains at full throttle.
The ninth Supercars event at Reid Park was attended by 142,478 people over the three days – about 2 per cent down on the 2016 event, which attracted 145,411 visitors.
V8 Supercars chief executive officer James Warburton said the drop was not a concern to the organisation.
“I think a couple of thousand across three days is really quite low and considering the amount of options around, with the show ( last weekend), and we know people are still doing it tough in the economy,” he said.
“We’re happy. Around that 140,000- plus level is really where we want to be.”
On Friday, 41,031 people attended the event, followed by 53,123 on Saturday and 47,324 yesterday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the Townsville 400 for the fifth time alongside Transport Minister Mark Bailey.
“There’s a lot of families here,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I’ve been speaking to a lot of people from the community, from sporting groups, being able to speak to business as well.
“I think there’s a lot of optimism in Townsville now and I know Townsville’s been through a tough time in the past.
“It’s great to see everyone out. This is a signature event for Townsville and it’s one that my government has put money into.
“We’re very pleased to support, and I want to see it continue.”
The Premier said she was not concerned about attendance levels.
“You can see the crowds here, you can see the families here,” she said.
“Don’t forget, this is a multimillion- dollar enterprise in terms of the advertising that goes along with V8s.
“Don’t forget too, you’ve got Townsville being beamed into our living rooms, not just across Australia, but right across the world.
“It’s probably going to make a lot of people think ‘ I either want to go to Townsville for a holiday or what a great place, maybe I should move there’.”
Mayor Jenny Hill said the Townsville 400 had been a success with perfect weather.
“It’s been great. It’s been a really good weekend, good weather, with a lot of support from the community and a lot of support from government,” she said.
“I think the V8 drivers had a great time and it’s gone really well.
“I think considering what the ( economic) climate’s like and the confidence, it’s a good attendance figure.”
Queensland Ambulance spokesman Peter Vinnicombe said across the weekend five people were treated for heatrelated illnesses, of which just one was hospitalised.
“It has been hot and a lot of people don’t drink enough water,” he said.
“All in all it’s been really good, people are looking after themselves and behaving.”
A police spokesman said crowds were well- behaved with no major arrests or disturbances.
HONOURS SHARED: Saturday’s race winner and yesterday’s runner- up Scott McLaughlin congratulates Jamie Whincup for winning race two.
Ford fan Terri- Ann Joiner, from Hermit Park