Power Rankings Team TRT July 8, 2024 (Comments off) (190)

Power Rankings: Townsville

From deadset red hot racing to cars in the catch fence, the NTI Townsville 500 had it all.

To break it all down, here’s the latest serving of our Power Rankings, and it’s a big one!


ABOUT THE RANKINGS: The TRT Power Rankings are compiled by your nominations from social media and edited by the TRT editorial team. They’re designed to give a balanced, as fair as possible critical overview of those things that excelled and those things that struggled, at each event. It’s (mostly) a democracy, and what you nominate generates the order, so have your say next event via our social media channels, @theracetorque on Facebook, Twitter and Insta. Look for the call out each evening and get commenting!


HOT

1. Saturday’s Race

After an extended drought of meh-grade racing, that race on Saturday had us asking: Was it epic, or was it just a standout compared to the usual fare we have been tolerating of late? Nope, that was huge motorsport. We don’t need to recap the race blow-by-blow; if you didn’t watch the race, find a way to catch up because it was a ripper. Strategy, close racing, the big stars of the sport, multiple teams, unscheduled rain, it had it all. After this latest serving and the GC last year, is there something to say about 250km races with proper strategy elements? There were some big movers in the pack (see elsewhere in HOT), and generally an awful lot to engage the audience, in a race that coincidently ran green throughout. Supercars is at its best when Waters and Mostert are duking it out – there is always that question mark hovering in the background regarding whether they are going to crash into each other. Whatever that race was, Supercars need to reverse engineer it and then produce it en masse.


2. Cam Waters

Fastest in both Friday sessions, pole Saturday, which was converted into the race one win after an epic battle – he truly had to work for it in the last stint, where he re-entered the circuit back in seventh. Second on Sunday gave him overall weekend honours. He claimed two podiums back at the Perth round – can Tickford keep the positivity going?


3. Matthew Payne

If you’re two career wins are Sunday in Adelaide and Sunday in Townsville, you’re doing something right. It’s been a while since he scored a pair of podiums on Thursdya and Friday at the AGP, and a fourth on Sunday in Taupo, but the flying Kiwi turned on a clinic with a three-stop strategy on Sunday, and absolutely walked it in. He was solid on Saturday, too, involved in the thick of the action to finish fourth.


4. Chaz Mostert

Huge turnaround from Darwin, second Saturday, third Sunday. Slightly closed the gap to the Triple Eight lads out front. With race pace to burn, ably backed by Ryan Wood in sixth on Sunday, can this team consistently maintain the rage as we head to SMP?


5. Jack Le Brocq

P6 and P4 for the birthday boy, capped with the Sunday pole position, the second of his career after Darwin ’23 – it was a big weekend at the races in Townsville. Top running Camaro on Sunday, and the best weekend of his career to date at Erebus.


6. Thomas Randle

P5 Saturday, and for a while, it looked like he was going to win his first race, with fifth again on Sunday rounding out a solid weekend.


7. Cameron Hill

Big drive on Saturday. He was spun out on the opening lap and was a long last, worked his way through to tenth at the chequered flag. Had an even better result on Sunday in ninth. Cam is sneakily stringing together some competent results, which is pleasing.


8. Jack Perkins

Where has this version of Jack Perkins been hiding? His first Super2 pole position since Winton in 2013 on Saturday, which was converted into a win. P3 on Saturday gave him overall honours for the Blanchard Racing Team, which was huge. Bonus points for the throwback livery and the promise of even more bonus points when this combination decides to roll out the DJR livery down the track.


9. Will Brown

Massive drive from P13 to third on Saturday. That is all.


10. Repco Vs Supercheap Auto Wars

When two of the biggest backers of the sport devote massive wads of marketing spend on motorsport themed clips it can only be a good thing.


FURTHER HOTS

Townsville

The lowdown from on the ground…


Track to Town

Once again, the perfect way to announce your arrival in town, with Townsville well and truly responding.


SVG

12 months on, isn’t SVG in a much happier place as a human being? Interestingly, to the same point of the season, SVG had three wins in the Supercars championship last year, and he has three wins in the Xfinity Series this time around.


Class B in the Team’s Championship

Behind Triple Eight, only 117 points separate Walkinshaw Andretti United, Tickford Racing and Penrite Racing. With the live pit lane order now a thing, there are plenty of bragging rights on the line.


Will Davison

Provisional Saturday pole, and provisionally second in Sunday qualifying.


James Courtney

P3 in Sunday’s shootout was a stout result from the Blanchard Racing Team equipe.


The Chopper

Motorsport broadcasts are better with chopper pictures.


Oscar Targett

A big weekend at the races for young Oscar in the Porsche Sprint Challenge, who cleaned up in the first sprint and the Sunday morning enduro race, before settling for second behind a big drive from Hamish Fitzsimmons in the finale.


Bradi Owen

Maximum points from the three GR86 races in a statement result ahead of a quality field in the first outing for the new-gen GR86s.


Other Super2 Stories

Plenty of other feel-good stories emanated from the leading lights in the Dunlop Series. Kai Allen annihilated the field on Sunday. Zach Bates converted his first career into a second on Sunday. Max Vidau rebounded from a tough start to the weekend (see: Not) to once again be on the podium, with a highlight being his race one third from 12th on the grid. Aaron Cameron also had another giant killing Saturday in second, before things somewhat unraveled on Sunday.


WHAT

Mixing up your Misso’s name


Almost a DNS


Hamish Fitzsimmons

Let’s just park the start of the Porsche Sprint Challenge right here. Polesitter Fitzsimmons missed his starting box/took off on another warm up lap, necessitating a restart for everyone bar himself, who had to line up at the end of pit lane for the lights to go out. An odd moment in sport.


Huh?


Fair question


Champagne Larko


The Attendance?

Were there really 126,618 at the event over the weekend?


NOT

1. Conor Somers

A mega shunt with flip and pike into the catch fence at the fast sweeper at turn 10 after tangling with Ross McGregor during Saturday morning qualifying. The silver lining was that Conor walked away unharmed.


2. Full Super2

Fun is fun, but the fact that you can set your watch to a massive wad up in the Super2 series is not fun. Season after season, these competitors tip in hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop (before damage) to hone their craft sitting behind the safety car. How on earth is that sustainable or indeed sensible? On Saturday, the field got as far as the exit of turn two before having all-in stacks on the mill, invoking 18min of safety car from their 40min racing window. The best decisions from the whole exercise were Hino sponsoring the tow truck, and BP the safety car.


3. Brake Failure

Dean Fiore wound up massively in the fence at the end of the main straight at the end of Super2 race one after a brake failure. Ugly.


4. Saturday Lap 1

It had the makings of the Super2 start, but didn’t. Nick Percat, Anton De Pasquale and Brodie Kostecki got wadded together, Jaxon Evans got turned, and Cam Hill received the rough end of the pineapple. Unnecessarily messy.


5. Parity Talk

After Ford won Perth and then was beaten in Darwin, the P word emanated from the paddock. Fast forward to Townsville, the Blue Oval were again the marque to beat, to the point the Blue Oval swept the Sunday podium. Is parity still broken?


6. Red Bull Ampol Racing

A tad anonymous by their own lofty standards. Outside of Will Brown’s third on Saturday, the results of 24th, a pair of sevenths for Feeney, were not what we expected from T8 in Townsville. Both cars wound up fenced on the opening circuit on Sunday, with Brown absolutely wearing the worst of it – the lack of a safety car absolutely sealed his fate.


7. Nick Percat

Results of 21st and 20th are worth forgetting.


8. Nulon PremiAir Hire

Tim Slaide had engine and power steering issues early and finished with results of 23rd and 17th, while James Golding was quiet in 16th and tenth, which must be tough after a big weekend out in Darwin.


9. Shell V-Power Racing

Big qualifying pace was promising, but Will Davison’s 8th and 12th and Anton De Pasquale’s DNF and 13th are a long way off from their win in North Queensland last year.


10. Brodie Kostecki

After a podium last start in Darwin, results of 19th and 18th were not what we expected. Saturday’s lap one carnage was costly and apparent steering woes on Sunday slowed his charge.


OTHER NOTS

Richie Stanaway

While his teammate Matthew Payne was out front, Richie left Townsville with a pair of 14ths.


GR Cup Race 1

An inauspicious start to the second-generation 86-spec class. Firstly, Harrison Blanchard found the very first possible wall to hit at turn one before barrelling into the turn two escape road and cleaning up all of the tyre barriers. Once the mess was cleaned up, the field got to the backside of the circuit before Lachlan Gibbons wound up in the fence, which essentially ended the race.


Stuck Throttle

A tough start to the weekend for Max Vidau, who found the fence through at the start of opening practice through no fault of his own. Rebounded brilliantly to claim a podium in race one.


Rain in Townsville?

The Porsche Sprint Challenge can consider itself screwed over when the heavens opened halfway through heat one on Saturday, which sent the field scurrying. Outside of 2019, when on earth does it rain in Townsville at this time of the year?


Steering Racks

Multiple issues over the weekend were a worry…


Pffft to saving your kit…

Celebrate your victories when you get them.


SOCIALS

Who will ever forget?


Big rebuild


What happened Mr Drifta?


Entertainment Session Skids Mid-Practice


An early shunt


Right


Yikes


MEME

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