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Offline AshSimmonds

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Champs give Townsville's V8 Supercar track the thumbs-up
May 8th, 2009

TOP racing drivers have given Townsville's V8 Supercar track an enthusiastic thumbs-up, declaring the inaugural race would be a highlight 
of their year.

Retired champion Mark Skaife toured the near-completed circuit with drivers Garth Tander and Greg Murphy, saying fans would be treated to some fast and furious action.

"It looks awesome. I'm really blown away by what's been put in place here, it looks superb," Murphy said.

"The whole concept of having a half-street race, half-permanent circuit-style event . . . was a bit off left-field, but (that) makes it hugely exciting.

"We just can't wait to get up here and get on this race track, it looks beautiful."

Murphy said drivers would be pushing the limits when they tested the track for the first time.

"It's a got a very good mix of different corners, it's got a very long front straight, we are talking 250-255km/h down there which is pretty quick and then a mix of some unique corners.

"The guys have been to a lot of race tracks and when we say this one is a good one, we can't all be wrong."

Tander said the race would be a highlight of the championship series.

"Each time we go to a new event it's a highlight of the year," Tander said.

"I think it will promote a heap of really good racing, really good passing and a really good spectacle _ that's what it's all about.

"There's plenty of fast stuff, with heavy braking a high-speed straight and high-speed corners, with a brand new surface that's generally higher grip, so from a driving point of view I think it will be a fantastic circuit."

Skaife said the unique track had all the ingredients for a fast and furious race.
"Racing being racing, there will be bingles, you can't make omelettes without breaking a few eggs," Skaife said.

"There will be some excitement I'm sure, people won't be starved of biffing and barging."

Skaife said drivers were not merely strolling the tarmac, but taking vital statistics on corner speeds and straight lengths to prepare them for the inaugural race.

He said the track precinct was similar to Albert Park in Melbourne, being a purpose-built track running through parkland.

A spokeswoman for Leighton Contractors said the track surface was laid and the Ross Creek bridge complete.

Work is quickly progressing on the two-storey pits building, which will include an upstairs corporate function area.

Landscaping projects have started and the Reid Park facelift will begin
when the pits building is complete.

Irrigation systems have been installed, and this week turf and seedlings have been laid in the Railway Estate Park section of the precinct.
Turf will also be laid on four viewing mounds.

Students from Townsville State High School have been enlisted to help with the greening project and will be involved in a range of landscaping initiatives over the next eight weeks.

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