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Townsville Takeover

The Supercars circus continues its north Australian tour. Next stop: Townsville!

The streets of Townsville have been a happy hunting ground for the team over the past decade, and like the Mad Cow Tavern on a Saturday night, we’re hoping the champagne bottles get a fair workout this weekend.

“We’ve always enjoyed going to Townsville since it was introduced to the Supercars calendar in 2009. We have had some great results there in the past but that doesn’t guarantee anything this weekend,” says Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup.   

“Coming off a poor showing at Darwin last weekend, we have some work to do to be fast this weekend.”

A return to Townsville means a return to street circuits, and yes, we’re just as excited as you!

“Street tracks are a fantastic part of our sport as it brings the entertainment to the people and there is not much better than the parklands circuit in Townsville. It’s actually a hybrid circuit with really good racing corners around the back of the track which give it a best-of-both-worlds feel.”

If you’re having flashbacks to Townsville 2019, you’ll remember the absolute mayhem from Sunday’s race. Torrential rain, fire balls (the one in pit lane, not the ones flowing at the casino that night) and a win for Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen.

 

“Townsville is an awesome track – I love it,” SVG said.

“After a few changes to #97 in Darwin last weekend, the car overall is in pretty good nick so we’ll be looking to come out of the blocks fast.”

How about #88, JDub?

“Thankfully, we have some new parts coming up from our Banyo base to repair the car properly from the last fortnight. We hit the wall hard and had some decent damage from car on car contact.  

“The boys will work hard this week making it look and feel brand new again – they do such a good job. The key is getting through these coming weekends with limited damage.”

This week marks the fourth week on the road for the bulls, albeit minimal compared to our Victorian counterparts. With an emphasis to keep team mortal high, JDub says the Supercars fraternity are working hard to keep putting on a show for our fans.

“We’re all hanging in there and lucky we have racing to keep the brain focused,” said JDub.

“It’s our partners who are doing it tough, but we share the challenge with a lot of the community. Together we will all get through this stronger.” The Townsville SuperSprint begins this weekend and features three 39-lap races. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.

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Latest News Link In Bio Supercars Townsville

It’s Top End Time

Blimey! Is it really that time of year?

Supercars are heading north to the land of sun and salties, and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team are looking forward to a ‘you beaut’ time in the Top End.

For Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen, driver of the #97 Red Bull Holden Commodore, the Hidden Valley circuit has treated him well in the past, where he’s scored two wins and nine podiums since debuting in 2008.

“The racing in Darwin is always really competitive.

“The track was resurfaced a couple of years ago, so it’s really fast-paced. Overall, the racing at Hidden Valley is good and the fans up north are great – it’ll be so good to see them around the circuit again,” SVG said.

“This round will be an interesting one. They’ve kept the whacky tyre rules from Sydney, so we’re going to have to decide what the best strategies will be and try to do the best we can with the tyres we have.

“Our aim is to be competitive over the three races and try to bank as many points as we can.”

This year’s Darwin Triple Crown will be a special event for SVG, notching up his 400th Supercars Championship race start. Known for his love of scorching temperatures and intense humidity, we can’t think of a better place to celebrate his milestone.

For Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup, SVG’s teammate since 2016, watching the Kiwi climb through the motorsport ranks over the years has been memorable to watch.

“It’s been awesome to watch first-hand the shy, skinny kid from New Zealand come of age and be one of the best touring car competitors the world has seen,” JDub said of SVG’s achievement.

“He was fast out of the blocks, ruffled a few feathers early on, and now has a deadly mix of raw speed and experience in the prime of his career.  He’s been a fantastic teammate that I have enjoyed so many great battles with.”

So, if you’re up the Top End of town this weekend, make sure you ‘hava gander’ at the Supercars action – we look forward to seein’ ya there!

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Behind the Scenes: Townsville 2019

Townsville threw everything at us. Like, ev-er-y-thing. But we came out with some trophies, a couple of podiums, a win and a whole lot of entertaining pics.

 

Left me hangin’

Jamie Whincup of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

Must be a Ford fan.

 

Act natural…

Shane van Gisbergen of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

The awkward moment when you realise your drink has your face on it.

 

#Townsvilleshowers

Shane van Gisbergen and Tom Wilson at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

Tom was quite upset about the champagne ruining his hair.

 

What even…

Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

No caption could really do justice to the randomness of this photobomb.

 

Screen saver

Ty Freele and David Cauchi of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

Those cheeky grins suggest there’s something on those screens that is not suitable for public consumption.

 

Serious conversations

Tom Wilson and Jessica Dane of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

Because photos of people working hard are just plain dull.

 

Peace out

Jordan Repetto of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

It’s only the smile on Jordy’s face that’s making this hand gesture okay…

 

Craig “Ca$$hie” Johnstone

Craig Johnstone of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

That would be the boss’s money and a fat bar tab, thanks.

 

Paging Dutto

Mark Dutton of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

T-minus three minutes until qualifying. Thanks, mate, real helpful time to turn your radio off.

 

Birthday shunt

Kurt Kostecki of Triple Eight Race Engineering at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

If you’re going to end up in the wall, make sure it’s a podium-induced crash. Oh, and happy 21st birthday, Kurt!

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Live Diary: Townsville 2019

Sunday 7 July

6:15pm – Team hugged, media boxes ticked, Red Bull drunk. Now it’s time to hear what the drivers actually thought.

Jamie Whincup – Car #88
Qualifying – 12th (Fastest Time: 1:12.5080)
Top Ten Shootout – N/A
Race 2 – DNF
Championship – Sixth (1,528 points)

“DC (David Cauchi, Race Engineer) did a good job with the strategy. It was good and the car was fast. I just made a mistake. The car wobbled off the kerb and the slippery concrete and into the fence. It’s a sweet and sour day – I’m so ramped for SVG. Wins are hard to come by at the moment, so to get a win in those conditions is unbelievable.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Qualifying – Fourth (Fastest Time: 1:12.3425)
Top Ten Shootout – Sixth (Lap Time: 1:12.8790)
Race 2 – FIRST
Championship – Third (1,669 points)

“It was really tough. I was struggling a lot and I had no grip on the slicks at the start and then it got better and then after the safety car I had zero grip. Then we did a good job at the pit stop, fueling the car up to have enough to get to the end. It was the right call, we pitted on the right lap. I had zero grip, so I was struggling to keep focus, but Shippy (Grant McPherson, Race Engineer) was really good, giving me the right messages of what we had to do and I just tried to make no mistakes. As a team victory, that’s the biggest team victory there is. That’s one in the sheds there and I was the lucky guy to be driving the right car. Jamie looked like he had a good start, he was catching us and going well, so it’s a real shame he had a DNF. Hopefully the car’s not damaged too badly. For us as a team, I think it’s a huge leap forwards this weekend in performance, so hopefully we can carry it on.”

Shave van Gisbergen wins for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019. Jamie Whincup DNFs for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team at the WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

4:50pm – SVG wins in Townsville!

4:45pm – FIRE IN PIT LANE!! Actually, two fires in pit lane.


3:50pm – It’s day done for JDub 😥 too much kerb at turn six sent him into the wall.

2:40pm – Pit exit has opened. And it’s raining. 😬

2:30pm – The Triple Eight Super2 crew are AWESOME!


1:25pm – Grab yourself a can of wings and you could find yourself and your crew at the Bathurst 1000 for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Want to find out how? Click here to check it out.

12:55pm – That wasn’t the ideal outcome from the shootout. Shane will start this afternoon’s race from third.

11:35am – We’ve got 45 minutes until the shootout. How does Shane fill his time? Watching more racing, of course 😎

11:00am – Ok, so that plan might have only half worked. SVG will head into the shootout, but Jamie qualified P12 after taking a different direction with the setup to try to find some extra wings.


10:35am – Qualy time! The aim of this game? To get both cars into the top 10 to proceed to the shootout.

10:05am – Time to watch the T8 Super2 crew in action for qualy. Fingers crossed they come away with another pole!

9:15am – Signing, signing, signing away 🖊 Also, Lowndesy is spying on us from the Fox Sports cube. He’s jealous. We can tell.

8:10am – We’re visiting our friends at the Holden fan zone. Come say hi!

6:45am – Let’s go one podium step better today 👊

Saturday 6 July

5:45pm – And here’s the drivers’ wrap before we let them dig into some well-earned dinner.

Jamie Whincup – Car #88
Practice 3 – Fifth (Fastest Time: 1:12.6045)
Qualifying – Sixth (Fastest Time: 1:12.3763)
Race 1 – Second

“We were very aggressive with strategy, which is dangerous, but we pulled it off today. The only strategy better than what we did was to have a faster car, which is what happened with car 17 and why we ran second. Unfortunately we haven’t made a step forward, but we’ve made a step sideways, so there might be a bit more fish in this pond we’re fishing now. I’m much happier doing that than just belting round doing the same thing. We’re happy with the progress, we’ve just got to keep grinding away. We’ll get there, but it’s going to take some time. I did have fun, for sure. I enjoyed the battles with Chaz (Mostert), it was gnarly.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 3 – 18th (Fastest Time: 1:12.9741)
Qualifying – Fourth (Fastest Time: 1:12.3239)
Race 1 – Fourth

“Qualifying was okay, we’ve made some big improvements with the cars, tried a lot of theories and there seems to be some progress, which is good. In some ways I’m disappointed but happy with the race. We didn’t get the strategy right, but I had good battles and I was able to fight with people and Jamie got second, so it’s pretty exciting. But on the other hand, I had a much better car than fourth, so that’s why it’s exciting, but disappointing because we didn’t make the most of it. I had a bent rim in the first stint, but it didn’t really affect me. Then we got caught out running long in the middle stint, with all the people who had taken their second stop with good tyres trying to pass us, so we lost a few seconds there, which cost us a podium.”

WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019. Jamie Whincup of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team on the podium at the Townsville 400

4:50pm – That strategy though! And mega driving, pit stops and car pace of course. Jamie takes a podium in second and Shane snatches fourth in the dying seconds.

3:15pm – That was  a STRESSFUL first five minutes of the race 😱

2:40pm – Pit exit is open and it’s time to get this Townsville show properly on the road. The sky is looking ominous, but the weather gurus tell us it’s nothing to worry about. We’ll believe you after the race…

1:05pm – Fanboying over these beasts.

12:45pm – All finished, positive results. We can make something happen from here!

11:45am – Let’s get those wings out for qualy!

10:30am – Our final practice run of the weekend is done. JDub takes P5 while SVG didn’t do a green tyre run and ended the session P18.

9:45am – BOOM! Kurt Kostecki and the Triple Eight Super2 crew take pole position. Well done, team, we’re crazy proud of the #T8fam.

Kurt Kostecki and Triple Eight Race Engineering take pole position at the Townsville 400

9:35am – How do drivers prepare from practice? By watching Super2 qualifying of course!

8:40am – We’re signing away at the official RBHRT trackside store. If you haven’t grabbed your kit yet, don’t forget that you can order online.

7:30am – Nothing like some early morning pit stop practice to get the blood pumping.

7:00am – Yesterday finished pretty well, now let’s go better 👊

 

Friday 5 July

3:20pm – Done, dusted and happy… for the most part. Here’s how the day’s results played out:

Jamie Whincup – Car #88
Practice 1Seventh (Fastest Time: 01:23.9310)
Practice 216th (Fastest Time: 01:13.2856)

“Our test plan got cut in half because of the weather this morning, so we only did two of the four things we wanted to test and I’m not sure about the car to be honest. It didn’t feel that nice at the end, but it might have been a bit faster, so it’s a matter of looking at the data now to see if it was better or worse. I missed the chequered flag by about a second and a half, but I didn’t feel competitive on the last run, so that’s a bit of a worry. Hopefully the data says something different, but we’ve got some work to do.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 122nd (Fastest Time: 01:27.1361)
Practice 2 Second (Fastest Time: 01:12.6904)

“Practice one was a bit of fun. We didn’t have any old wets so we didn’t want to wreck new ones, so it was quite good to just go and slide around and learn how to drive again after being spoiled in Japan with ABS and traction control in the Triple Eight GT car. That was quite fun! In the second session we had a whole heap to cram in because we missed practice one really. I think on both cars we learnt a lot, so that was good and we had some speed. I think we made progress and we understood a lot. The car wasn’t nice to drive, but it was fast, so now we just need to make it comfortable.”

WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019. WATPAC Townsville 400 Event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland. Australia. 5th-7th July 2019.

2:30pm – Woohoo, it’s dry! Let’s hit the track and see what magic we can conjure up 😎

1:15pm – These Porsches are making this corporate Q&A quite tricky…

12:40pm – Are you coming down to meet the drivers? The brollies are out, but we’re still here signing away 🖊

11:30am – That session was altogether quite useless. SVG had some fun on hard tyres, then called it a day halfway through, leaving car 88 to find whatever nuggets of wisdom can come from wet running. That left him in 22nd, but JDub in seventh.

10:55am – It’s kick off for practice 1! It’s pretty greasy out there with this drizzle, so it might be a long old 30 minutes.

9:40am – This is mega! Our friends at Tony Ireland Holden have donated a whopping $100,000 to the Townsville flood appeal and the guys were on hand to present the cheque.

Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen present $100,000 cheque from Tony Ireland Holden to the Townsville flood appeal

8:45am – We’ve just finished showing our M8s around the Red Bull Holden garage, which got us thinking (uh-oh… 😉) that we should let you guys know that there is still a small handful of T8M8 Platinum memberships up for grabs. Would you like to take a flying trip around Queensland Raceway, Sydney Motorsport Park or The Bend? Then this is right up your street! Click here to find out more.

7:30am – Good morning, Townsville! Tell you what, we’ve been hanging to get on track here, it’s one of our favourite spots on the calendar. Today’s the day!

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Townsville: Taking it on

We have made it to just over the halfway mark of the 2019 season!

Right around now we are still looking to venture into the much-needed sunshine and warmth and a closer to home, Round 8 in Townsville.

We were all a little stunned to see Jamie “J-Dub” Whincup end up in the back of the pack in Darwin – and so was he by the sounds of it (it’s good thing there were no crocodiles out there).

“I couldn’t believe it! I was just too nice trying to have a good race and got absolutely pollacked,” said J-Dub.

“I forgot what mid-pack warrior racing was all about as I was trying to race fair and give people room but instead got absolutely belted.

“I haven’t been back there for a bit, so I got a very quick reminder,” he said.

 

 

Despite making progress through the pack, racing from P24 to P5, J-Dub is a tough critic when it comes to driving styles.

 “I was actually disappointed to be honest with how it turned out and the poorness of the racing quality in the mid-pack,” he said.

“It’s dog eat dog back there and smashing each other out of the way, where at the front of the pack it’s different, it’s good, hard and fair racing which I think is desired.”

Although the title ‘King of Townsville’ has been doing the rounds, it’s not really something J-Dub is claiming for keeps.

“We had a solid run in Darwin, but it would be fantastic to get back on the podium.”

 

GALLERY:  Behind the Scenes Darwin 2019

 

Having just returned from his debut at the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia in Suzuka, Japan Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen isn’t looking for his brief GT stint to help in Townsville.

“The GT racing in Suzuka was heaps of fun and I had a good time racing with Prince Jefri Ibrahim but unfortunately we crashed on the last lap so it wouldn’t be of much help in Townsville,” he said.

Let’s just call it more experience under the belt for SVG and then add team effort as he jumps back into Supercars.

“We always do well in Townsville, but we need to be close as a team and try to move forward as for the last couple of rounds we have tried a lot of things and haven’t gotten the results that we were after,” he said.

“It all becomes part of the continuous learning process to make the cars better and faster so Townsville will be more about taking it all back to the basics and putting it together so that Jamie and I will both be fast, which I think we will be.”

Only time will tell if SVG is right but as we head to Far North Queensland it seems Townsville is highly rated for J-Dub.

“It’s one of the best on the calendar; a fantastic event, great people and it’s a street track but it’s a purpose-built track as well; they had the parkland to start with so it’s the best of both worlds.”

Stay up to date on our Twitter page with live updates from Friday July 5 and don’t forget to pack your sunscreen.

 

Jamie’s Predictions for Townsville:

Fastest lap time on the track – 01:13.88

Who’s the one to watch in Townsville – The bloke who has won every other race this year.

Biggest Challenge in Townsville – Pulling up for Turn 2.

Three words to describe Townsville – Best of both worlds (we know it’s four).

Favourite moment in Townville – Representing the Army and changing our car liveries to camouflage in 2011.

 

 

Shane’s Predictions for Townsville:

Fastest lap time on the track – 01:13.09

Who’s the one to watch in Townsville – The heat.

Biggest Challenge in Townsville – The heat.

Three words to describe Townsville – It’s very hot.

Favourite moment in Townville – Last year when Red Bull Holden Racing Team took out 1-2 in the race on both days.

 

READ MORE:  J-Dub and SVG go two for two in Townsville.

 

018 Supercars Championship Round 8. Townsville 400, Reid Park, Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Friday 6th July to Sunday 8th July 2018. World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz Photographer Ref: Digital Image DSC_2834.NEF

 

 

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Behind The Scenes: Townsville 2018

Townsville is one of our favourite race meetings, can you tell? So it’s only fitting that we share what went on behind the scenes in North Queensland.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Good mates are the ones who don’t even pretend to look interested when you’re telling a rubbish story.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

“What the hell did Jamie put in my helmet?”

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Gents, that is not the way Kimi does it.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

When you finally master that high kick in aerobics class.

 

Shane van Gisbergen wins the Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 8th 2018

More rubber burnt than SVG on a Friday night in the Valley.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Dutto after he put yet another peg on the back of Shippy’s shirt.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Care factor on Shippy’s face = Zero.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

How big, Romy?

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

New to shelves near you, SVG’s very own range of hair care products, “Moey”.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

RD can confirm that nope, Romy is not yet using Moey.

 

The things you have to resort to when the lads keep stealing your seat.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Young Franky in the front is not impressed with Shane and Jamie’s moves.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Quick, charge her up before the cameras roll out.

 

Watpac Townsville 400 event 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville.
July 5th to 7th 2018

Scotty smiles on innocently as Shippy approaches the tripwire he laid minutes before.