Heimgartner, Golding gear up with Townsville’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment

29 Jun
Drivers visit Townsville ahead of race week
3 mins by James Pavey

Repco Supercars Championship drivers Andre Heimgartner and James Golding got behind the wheel of some new machinery on Thursday, receiving a tour of an Australian Army M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank and an ASLAV T1 CRV from Townsville’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment at Lavarack Barracks.

The pair of drivers visited Townsville on Thursday ahead of next week’s Supercars race event and twin 250-kilometre races around the street circuit at Reid Park.

“It's pretty cool,” Heimgartner said. “Often you see them at parades and different stuff, but you don't actually get to look inside and even got to load one of the big guns myself with the big shell. So it was pretty cool to see up close and personal what it's all about.”

For Golding, it’s a return to the city where he made his return race to the Repco Supercars Championship, a year on from being drafted into PremiAir Racing in 2022.

“It's actually (got) a lot of similarities to what we've got inside the Supercar,” Golding observed of the tank. “The temperatures and stuff get pretty hot in there, so a lot of things are the same.”

“Obviously, you know, we don't have guns to shoot off at the same time,” he laughed. “So, yeah, pretty cool.”

“Having the involvement of the Defence with Supercars awesome. We always have a lot of support from them when we come up here, and it's great to be involved with them on and off the track.”

The duo also came face to face with wildlife, meeting Courage, the Wedge Tailed Eagle, who serves as mascot of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.


Deemed to be in a “good mood” on Thursday, the drivers were allowed to hold the eagle for photos on base.

“It was bit sketchy there, meeting Courage,” Golding said. “(He was) tame enough today, so that was a positive. It was cool to get a nice photo with him and come out unscathed.”

“It’s funny with their personalities,” Heimgartner added. “He didn't want me to pat him to start with, but I broke him down and eventually got a little pat in there, which was awesome.”

One week from today, teams will be setting up in the paddock at the NTI Townsville 500, the sixth event of the 2023 Repco Supercars season.

This year marks the 15th year Supercars has raced on the street circuit around Reid Park, and will be the first time the new-for-2023 Gen3 Supercars will race in Queensland.

Tickets for the NTI Townsville 500 can be purchased via Supercars.com and Ticketek.

The highly-anticipated race event takes place July 7-9 on the streets of Reid Park, and will be broadcast via Seven and Foxtel, with streaming available via 7plus and Kayo.

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