WITH less than a fortnight separating the Darwin and Townsville rounds of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship Series, the majority of race teams sent their transporters straight to North Queensland rather than heading back to their respective southern workshops.
Before heading to Darwin, each transporter was loaded with enough spare parts and body panels to cover any contingency but, fortunately, most cars came away from last weekend’s SKYCITY event relatively unscathed.
There was about three weeks between the two events last year, whereas this time, it is just two.
Two Melbourne-based teams elected to return home, but Albury’s Brad Jones Racing kept its two transporters and a small band of mechanics and engineers in Darwin an extra two days preparing the Team BOC, Lockwood Racing and Team ADVAM/GB Commodores for next weekend’s Castrol Townsville 500.
The transporters headed to Townsville on Tuesday, while the ground party arrived back home on Wednesday.
Brad Jones Racing team manager, Chris Clark, said the team would have a well-earned break before flying out to Townsville this coming Wednesday.
“As SKYCITY is one of our sponsors it made sense to keep key mechanics and engineers in Darwin to prep the cars before packing them off to Townsville,” Clark said.
“We came away from the Darwin round with little collateral damage, so they only had to spend two days readying the cars.
“Jason’s car suffered a cracked upright and a broken steering rod due to an altercation with Garth Tander, and apart from a few bent panels, it wasn’t too bad.
“But it is back on the road again next week as we have to get two of our Dunlop Series cars to Townsville, for Andrew and Macauley who is making his Dunlop Series debut next weekend.
Chris Pither’s car is already in Townsville.
Macauley and Andrew are the respective sons of BJR team co-owners Brad and Kim Jones.
“We will be running six cars in Townsville, so we will be packing the transporter carrying their cars with as much gear as we can get into it,” Clarke said.
“As you can imagine, fuel, flights and accommodation costs are huge when you have to travel to the far north of the country.
“Our accommodation bill alone will be around $21,000.
“Our two transporter drivers who drove to Townsville, flew home on Wednesday. They have to leave again on Tuesday so as they can prepare the trucks for the transporter parade on Thursday.”
The V8s will have three practice sessions on Friday, practice, qualifying and races 20 and 21 on Saturday, and qualifying, a top 10 shootout and race 22 on Sunday.
Development Series cars will have three practice sessions on Friday, two qualifying sessions and race one on Saturday, and two qualifying sessions and race two on Sunday.