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Townsville track walk: Reid Park Street Circuit up close

Supercars
05 Jul
Supercars.com conducted a pre-event track walk to get to know the famous Townsville circuit
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Reid Park Street Circuit is a unique challenge for drivers and teams, and on closer inspection, you get an idea why.

The 2.86km circuit will host its 39th and 40th races at this weekend's NTI Townsville 500, and in its 15 years on the Supercars calendar, has seen its fair share of drama and controversy.

Ahead of the weekend, Supercars.com conducted a pre-event track walk to get to know the Townsville circuit, which will host its 17th ATCC/Supercars Championship round. Scroll down below to view a full gallery of the track up close.

The basics

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The Reid Park Street Circuit is 70 percent permanent, with the second and third sectors predominantly purpose-built race track.

It is a clockwise circuit, has a medium brake energy rating, a high bump energy rating and —importantly — a high tyre wear rating.

There is a 462-metre run from pole position to the Turn 2 braking zone, with the front 'straight' a whopping 672 metres long. The slowest corner is the 60km/h Turn 13 (pictured above), immediately followed by the fastest corner, the 210km/h Turn 1 king

Despite being a sub 75-second lap, 45 percent of the lap is spent turning, and it has a fast average speed of 157km/h.

Tough on tyres, and cars

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First built in 2009, the permanent section has degraded over time, while the streets naturally degrades due to weather and use.

There are a number of different track surface patch changes around the lap, with tyre degradation more evident around the last half of the circuit.

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There is heavy wear on the left rear tyre, so drivers who can manage tyres best will get the best results. Three corners also require heavy braking, with Townsville also featuring the third highest trail brake distance (125 metres) of the season.

Critically, Townsville has the highest energy input per kilometre in the 12 circuits on the 2024 calendar, and this is why...

Those kerbs...

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Riding the big kerbs is key in Townsville. To put it simply, the fastest way around this circuit is to attack the kerbs as hard as you can.

The big kerbs are at Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8, with the Turn 7/8 chicane vital as drivers aim to get the best possible run down the back straight to the big braking zone into Turn 11.

With high tyre degradation and a big braking zone at Turn 2, brakes get a heavy workout around Townsville. So, it’s not unusual to see a lock-up as the cars attack the kerbs.

Set-up secrets

The focus, with regards to set-up, is to have a car that tackles kerbs well. This will 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 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.

The suspension also cops a high workload through the lap, so reliability and avoiding damage during the race is another area to manage for engineers and drivers.

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