The Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series has left an indelible mark on Queensland sporting history attracting a record three day and Sunday crowd to the Queensland Raceway for the BigPond 300. Today's official crowd figure of 33,223...
The Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series has left an indelible mark on Queensland sporting history attracting a record three day and Sunday crowd to the Queensland Raceway for the BigPond 300.
Today's official crowd figure of 33,223 coupled with Saturday's 12,209 turnout and the 8,280 people that shuffled through the gates on Friday brought a total crowd figure of 53,712 for the event -- an increase of more than 12,000 on last year.
The massive crowd represents the biggest ever for a sporting event in Ipswich and confirms motor racing has reached unprecedented levels in Queensland.
Queensland Raceway Chairman John Tetley was ecstatic at the response, pointing to a number of variables which he believes set up the record breaking achievement.
"In this day and age you have to be able to provide an affordable entertainment package and that's what we set out to achieve with the discounted price on pre-purchase tickets," Tetley said.
"The fact that Ford is once again able to win races in this highly competitive category has undoubtedly increased the population's interest in V8 Supercar racing.
"Queenslanders and motor racing enthusiasts in general have voted with their feet to confirm the Queensland Raceway as one of the finest motor racing venues in Australia.
"People were packing in the place from seven this morning and that trend continued right through until after race time at 1.30pm.
"We achieved a rare feat this year in attracting record crowds over all three days of the motor racing feature so that sort of result can never be understated.
Results on the track proved an even greater advertisement for Queensland motor racing with Caltex Havoline Racing's Russell Ingall making it back-to-back chequered flag honours for the Gold Coast based Stone Brothers Racing at Queensland Raceway.
"It has been a long time between VBs, but this makes it all worth it," said Ingall.
"This is a great reward for all the team -- they have had to put up with a lot the last few races."
With victory Ingall also claimed the inaugural Top Pineapple honour at Queensland Raceway.
"Unless you are sitting in the seat of one of these things (V8 Supercar) it is hard to describe how hard it really is," added Ingall.
"I have driven in a lot of categories all over the world and it doesn't get much tougher than this."
It was a one-two finish for SBR with Marcos Ambrose unable to make it five straight round wins in the series but most humble in defeat after suffering a drive through penalty due to making contact with Steve Ellery coming out of the pits.
"I am disappointed in myself for making the mistake because I had a chance to win five in a row," said Ambrose.
"At the same time I am really pleased for Russell and the rest of the team.
"What this does is give us plenty for the rest of the year."
In the Carrera Cup category, Jim Richards in his Porsche 911 GT3 led home Queenslander Marcus Marshall in all three races.
Formula Ford honours were split between Tony Pugliese in a Van Diemen RF01 and Glen Hastings also driving a Van Diemen RF 01.
Jamie Cartwright won both races in the MGF Trophy category while the four races in the Aussie Racing Cars category were won by four different drivers all driving Ford Falcons. New Zealand's Chris Butler won race one, Klark Quinn took race two, John Faulkner race three and James Ward rounding up the chequered flag honours list.
Brad Tilley won all three races in the Historic Touring Cars driving a '69 Ford Mustang.