The Reid Park circuit in Townsville is two effectively race tracks in one.
It combines elements of a street circuit with big bumps, kerbs and heavy stops and sections of fast flowing turns and long loaded corners.
The challenge, before teams and drivers even contemplate squaring off with 25 other cars, is nailing a setup that works well in all areas of the track.
Teams will be given an additional four Dunlop Super Soft tyres from what is used at SuperSprint events, bringing the total to 28. However, four will be returned on Friday after practice as normal.
The dual 200 kilometre races will force teams to focus on how they use their tyre bank throughout the weekend.
Traditionally the circuit has higher degradation than most, with the left rear tyre copping the brunt of the work. Conversely, wear on the right front can be low.
With two 20 minute qualifying sessions and a Top 10 shootout on Sunday, teams will focus on getting the Super Soft up to temperature for a flying lap – a situation that has proved problematic throughout the season.
Each car will have a 120 litre fuel drop in each of the races over the weekend.
Fuel consumption can average around 2kg/lap around the track, with strategy often broken into equal stints of around 23-24 laps for the 70 lap races.
Most cars are expected to stop twice in the race, with the potential for safety a chance to impact the strategy.
Townsville will see Supercars reach a max speed of around 260km/h.
While it is not the highest in the calendar, the section from the final turn to Turn 3 is one that is hugely horsepower depended.
However, teams are likely to focus on power delivery and a drive traction for the twister sections of the track.
With high tyre degradation and a big stop at Turn 2, brakes can get a heavy workout around Townsville.
It’s not unusual to see a lockup as the cars attack the kerbs around the circuit.
The nature of the twisty section means the circuit is hard on brakes throughout the lap, with the only reprieve on the main straight ahead of the biggest stop on the circuit.
Focusing setup on a car that tackles kerbs well can help around a track like Townsville as opening the corner on the apex and using the exit can help get a quick lap time.
The mix of different track characteristics also favours cars that have good braking stability and drive traction.
The suspension cops a high workload through the lap, so reliability and avoiding damage during the race is another area to manage for engineers and drivers.
As is common for street circuits, safety cars are a regular occurrence in Townsville.
While that sounds trivial, the intervention periods play a significant role in strategy throughout the races.