Jamie Whincup (#1 TeamVodafone Commodore – 1st)
“I’m pretty spent actually, it’s been a long week. We get a huge reception when we roll in on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, have a couple of intense days and then we get on track at this crazy circuit.”
When my friend offered me the chance to go to the final race day on Sunday I hesitated momentarily. I had never been to such a high profile race, indeed I had only been to one car race previously! I thought of the 150,000 fans who attend the Supercar race each year, and projecting mental images of screaming engines, bodysuits, checkered flags and champagne, I accepted.
The laid back feeling of North Queensland shone through and it was obviously a family orientated day. Everywhere people were dressed in their team merchandise, babies even co-operated by wearing ear plugs! There was no waiting at the abundant alcohol and food outlets, and porta-loos were plentiful, earning the organizers a big tick from me. Prices were reasonable with Potato Wedges with Sour Cream costing an affordable $6.50 and a tin of Coopers $5.50 (or was it $6.50)!
Walking through the pits I was amazed at how approachable and open they were. There were no objections to photos being taken. I clicked away, not knowing the difference between the teams, or cars, just wanting to capture the mood of the day.
After walking around the track, we chose our position on a hill where we had a good view of a “U” section of track. With 30 laps to go in the 72 lap race, after cars had made pit stops and we were hopelessly confused as to who was in the lead my friend queried our male neighbour who looked race savvy..
With the four lead cars now firmly in our sights, and our adopted team in 1st and 2nd position, our enthusiasm stepped up a notch. Venturing trackside from our hill perch, to where the power and speed really hit home, we started wondering – would those barriers hold if there was an accident right there in front of us?
Thankfully we never discovered the answer, but I was mentally prepared to sprint!
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