Five storylines to watch at the NTI Townsville 500

02 Jul
We take a look at some of the key talking points heading to North Queensland
3 mins by James Pavey

Since its debut in 2009, Townsville has produced some dramatic moments and unexpected results, and this year bodes to be no different.

Through five rounds, Will Brown and Broc Feeney have been the ones to beat, and it is now shaping up as a year they will have to keep beating each other to settle the title.

Chaz Mostert is hanging onto third, and will be quietly hoping Triple Eight somehow hits its first hurdle at a circuit it has claimed 22 wins in 38 races.

Behind them is a tightly contested pack, now led by Nick Percat, while James Golding made his presence felt in Darwin.

Ahead of the annual trip to North Queensland, Supercars.com picks out five key storylines to keep an eye on at the NTI Townsville 500. Track action commences on Friday. International viewers can follow all the action on Superview.

Teammate vs teammate

feeney darwin sunday

Courtesy of a two-from-two sweep, Broc Feeney closed the gap in Darwin to Will Brown, with the margin between the duo cut from 136 to 108 points. If the form guide is anything to go by, they'll be hard to beat in Townsville, where Triple Eight has won 22 of 38 races. Both drivers are strong there, Brown winning the Saturday race with Erebus last year, with Feeney scoring the most points for the round. The longest races of the season since Bathurst in February, this weekend's 250km races will run for two hours, and require big strategy calls. Should it end up being teammate vs teammate, it could come down to calls in the garage, just as it did last year...

Do or die for Mostert?

mostert taupo garage 2024

Chaz Mostert is clinging on to the title fight by his fingernails, slipping to 279 points off the pace after being undone by poor one-lap pace in Darwin. Mostert is quick on the Soft tyre, which will be used exclusively this weekend. He's also hunting his first Townsville win, and scored a podium there last year. There are seven rounds and 2120 points to win, and Mostert needs to have big rounds to put pressure on Triple Eight. If he cedes more points this weekend, it could get very hard from here.


Is Erebus back?

podium kostecki 1

Brodie Kostecki claimed Erebus Motorsport's first podium of 2024 in Darwin, helping the team to a bright moment in what has been a torrid title defence. Erebus won last year's Saturday race in Townsville, and knows how to get the job done over long distances. The team will be desperate to prove Darwin wasn't a flash in the pan, and Kostecki disrupting Triple Eight's championship plans, as he inadvertently did in Darwin, will be on the team's priority list in Townsville.

The one to watch

percat bathurst 500 2024

Nick Percat rebounded in Darwin, jumping back to fourth in the championship following two nondescript rounds in New Zealand and Perth. Percat, who scored his first pole in Townsville in 2020, recently tested the potential new tyre compound for 2025, but also treated the day as a tune-up ahead of Townsville. The Matt Stone Racing driver wants nothing less than a top five championship in 2024, and should he continue his trajectory from Darwin, will be able to consolidate his position.

Most important round so far?

Race-17-EV-06-23-MH2 4201

As far as street circuits come, Townsville is tough. You have concrete walls and big kerbs, but it is also a hybrid circuit with an ageing surface and train crossings, with 70 percent of the layout a permanent fixture. All told, all signs lead to Townsville being the most critical juncture in the season so far. This weekend has the longest races (250km) since the Bathurst season opener, the first refuelling races since Taupō, and is one of the toughest on tyres and brakes. The Safety Car has appeared in 21 of the 38 Townsville races, so there's also a high chance of on-track drama.

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