The Dunlop Townsville 400 blasted off with a bang today with Holden Racing Team star Will Davison securing the first bragging rights at the maiden V8 Supercar North Queensland race.
After the completion of the unique city circuit, which blends a mix of newly built and existing roads, Davison etched his own little piece of history by lifting his Commodore to the quickest time after three practice sessions.
Davison clocked 1min 13.0524s, to narrowly pip young star Michael Caruso (Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodore) by 0.0064s with Jason Richards (Team BOC) third fastest. There was a queue of drivers lining up to claim the fastest time toward the end of the third and final session.
James Courtney (seventh) had dominated the practice sessions but with 12 minutes remaining the Jim Beam Racing driver was pipped by Stone Brothers steerer Shane van Gisbergen.
However Kiwi star van Gisbergen's time also did not last and he eventually found himself shuffled back to sixth when the chequered flag came out.
Among the others to share the top time, albeit briefly, were Jason Richards and Team Bottle-O driver Tony D'Alberto who found himself pushed back to fifth at the end of the session.
Drivers have largely praised the circuit following the christening of the track, hailing the addition of high-raised kerbs as a winner.
“The track is quite strange because the first sector of the lap is a complete street circuit and really feels like you are driving at Adelaide of NZ,” Davison said. “You go through turns one, two and three and the concrete is really close. And then you come over the bridge to turns five and six and it feels like driving at Albert Park and it feels quite strange.
“You've got to be really aggressive in the first part of the lap like you do have to do on street tracks and then you've really got to calm yourself down for the run to the flag because it's quite open and flowing and it's quite easy to over drive the car.”