Controversy, drama and sweeps: Super2's last Townsville visit

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 05/07/2021
  • By James Pavey

The Dunlop Super2 Series will make a long-awaited return to North Queensland at this weekend’s NTI Townsville 500.

It will mark the first time since 2019 that Super2 drivers will tackle Reid Park’s concrete canyon.

Two years ago, it was a weekend to remember for eventual series champion Bryce Fullwood, who won both races.

Saturday’s race initially belonged to Thomas Randle, who was first to the chequered flag in Race 1.

Randle, who will rise to a full-time main game seat with Tickford Racing in 2022, qualified third but beat the front row starters to the first braking zone.

However, his win came under scrutiny regarding the second Safety Car restart.

It was later deemed that Randle’s maiden Super2 would be handed to Fullwood after the former committed two Safety Car restart breaches.

Randle was found to have accelerated when yellow flags were still being displayed at both restarts.

On the first occasion, after a Turn 2 accident at the start of the race, Randle pulled a small gap at the control line.

On the second occasion, he motored away from the field exiting the second-last corner of the circuit.

His decision caused the field to bunch up when some appeared to have initially followed his cue.

Fullwood was handed the win, with Randle slapped with duel 25-second penalties to drop him to 13th position, the last of the classified finishers.

On Sunday, buoyed by his third win of the season, Fullwood continued his march to the 2019 title with a sweep of the round.

Fullwood outbraked Tim Blanchard at a late Safety Car restart, having ran second for much of the race.

The move also enabled Brenton Grove to claim a career-best second position, with Blanchard ending up third.

It didn’t get much better for Randle, who copped a third restart procedure penalty of the weekend and dropped from fifth at the chequered flag to 15th.

Jake Kostecki started the race from pole, a day after older brother Kurt failed to convert his own pole into victory.

Kostecki was sixth after a hectic opening stanza, before a Safety Car was called to recover Jordan Boys’ stricken car at Turn 2 following contact with Will Brown.

It also implicated Matt Chahda, who later had a high-speed lose at Turn 1 on Lap 9 due to rear wing failure caused by the earlier melee.

Chahda speared into the outside wall after spinning at high speed, bringing out the Safety Car which would see Fullwood pounce on Blanchard.

The sweep helped Fullwood to an extended 133-point lead in the standings, and he would claim the title at the Newcastle finale later in the season.

The 2021 Dunlop Super2 Series season will resume this weekend at the NTI Townsville 500. Tickets are available here.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo, and will be broadcast live and free on Seven.

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