Townsville 400 Preview

06/07/2016 12:00AM

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The tropical far north Queensland city of Townsville is the next stop on the 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and this is one place that holds special memories for the Holden Racing team.

For HRT the biggest achievement at the Reid Park was a 1-2 finish two consecutive years in a row (2013 and 2014). It’s hard enough just finishing since no race has ever had 100 per cent of its starters classed as finishers.

Its been a tradition in recent years for the red garage to run the State of Origin colours on the cars and it’s a popular talking point for fans. In 2016 the tradition continues and the fierce rivalry reignited with James Courtney showing off his beloved Blues on the side of his Commodore VF and Garth again supporting the reigning champions, the mighty Maroons. 

The Holden Racing Team is one of only three teams to have had multiple wins in Townsville and in 15 race starts the team has had a total of 14 podium finishes. Tander has had a perfect run at the event finishing every race he has started and he has stood on the podium 10 times. In the event’s short history teammate Courtney has finished an impressive five times in a podium position.

Tander’s #2 Commodore will also be running a special number this weekend – W2 – in memory of Shane Krikke.

FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT

Garth Tander, #2 Holden VF Commodore:
“It is great to be running the State of Origin colours again this year. It creates a lot of rivalry among our own fans. A lot of the social media interaction we have with the HRT fans over this week is to do with Queensland (QLD) verses New South Wales (NSW).”

“I run QLD on my car by default because James is from NSW and a lot of people give me a hard time because I’m from Perth and have QLD on my car but someone has to run it. It’s good because QLD seem to win a lot at this Origin caper.”

“The support for the Townsville event is one of the things I like most about going to this event. I guess the Townsville and Darwin events are quite common in that people travel from interstate for these races. So it has this real atmosphere of being quite relaxed and embracing.  

“We’ve had pretty good memories on-track there and I think the first 1-2 that James and I had in 2013 was the best. We actually decided to redesign some parts for Sunday’s race while we were away at the event. These were designed in Melbourne on the Friday night, manufactured on the Saturday and flown up that night in time for Sunday’s race. That result was achieved by the truest sense of teamwork.”


James Courtney, #22 Holden VF Commodore:
“I really enjoy heading up north at this time of year, the Townsville 400 is a great event where all the locals really get behind it. The NRL team is very strong up there but for motorsport there aren’t many events in that part of the world so the Townsville 400 it always popular.”

“I won there at the very first Townsville event which was very special to me and of course you can’t forget mine and Garth’s 1-2 there two years in a row.  The track holds good memories and last year I was lucky enough to have my family there to help me celebrate my podium finish on the Sunday.”

“I am a mad NRL supporter so I love having the State of Origin colours back on my car again this year. I know I am brave heading into Queensland territory with the Blues colours but I don’t care about that, I was born in NSW and that is what it is all about. It’s been a tough 11 years for them but I will stand by my team.”

TRACK FACTS

Track Length 2.86km
Track Direction Clockwise
Average Speed 144km/h
Top Speed 260km/h
Qualifying Lap Record 1.12.2553s
Race Lap Record 1.13.4066s
Event Format Super Sprint
Tyre Allocation 28 – soft tyre compound only

 

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