I’m pretty happy to escape the Melbourne winter again and head to the North Queensland sunshine for the Townsville 400.
The Townsville event has a similar feel to the Adelaide 500, in terms of event atmosphere and the demands of racing. There’s a great vibe in and around the circuit, and the fans are very welcoming and keen on having a good time!
I’m a fan of street circuits and Townsville is no exception, even though it’s more of a hybrid of a traditional tight street circuit layout with some fast, flowing corners. The key to a good lap time is being able to fire the car over the kerbs well without it bottoming out.
Rear tyre life is crucial there because it’s very bumpy on the exits and it can be easy to overheat the rear tyre. The circuit also has a lot of right handers so the left rear tyre really cops it!
The key passing spots are turns two, four and the last sequence of turns heading onto the main straight. It can be difficult to overtake there, so you don’t want to end up stuck behind people for a long time!
I’ve had some success there over the years in the Dunlop Super2 and Carrera Cup categories, and have made the Top 10 Shootout in Supercars a few times also.
To date, 2014 has been my best year in a supercar there. I finished fourth in the opening race, and then got my first front row start on the Sunday.
Last year I felt that we were quite competitive in Townsville, but didn’t get the results to reflect that. I’m expecting the competition to be extremely close this weekend, if the way the season is going is any indication. I’ve finished in the top ten of more than half this year’s races so I want to continue that trend and keep fighting for another podium.
At least my competition will see me coming this weekend! There’s a new standout yellow Dunlop livery on car 8. It’s great to have them back on the car for the second year in a row, and last year’s Dunlop livery was a real hit with the fans. Can’t wait to roll it out of the truck.
Remember, you can follow Nick on social media for updates across the event.
Instagram - @nickpercat