PremiAir Racing will tackle its first ‘long-form’ Supercar races at the NTI Townsville 500 this weekend, with the team relishing the chance to sink their teeth the 250km race format for the first time.
The team will roll out onto the Townsville street circuit carrying the striking liveries that were unveiled for the two PremiAir Racing entries in Darwin – with the team choosing to keep the work of Elaine Chambers-Hegarty and Kiewa Tya Austin-Rioli on the Subway and Coca-Cola No-Sugar entries respectively in celebration of NAIDOC Week.
“We are all looking forward to getting into the first longer races of the season, where race strategy will play a major role,” PremiAir Racing Team Principal, Matt Cook, said.
“With two 250km races, this is going to be an action-packed weekend and our team is relishing the chance to compete over the extended race format.
“We will be doing so with the same amazing liveries that we ran in Darwin – with NAIDOC week coming to a close on Sunday, it just made sense to keep them on the car and continue to play our small part in celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island peoples.”
New driver James Golding’s first laps in the Subway PremiAir Racing Supercar entry will come at an event in which he has competed twice before, most recently in 2019 when he secured his best solo race result (7th place).
“Townsville has always been a track I have enjoyed racing at,” Golding said.
“It is very challenging because you’ve really got to muscle the cars around the track.
“I’ve also had a couple of good results there previously, which gives me some confidence for my return.”
Chris Pither is also feeling positive about his upcoming weekend in the PremiAir Coca-Cola No Sugar Supercar as set-up for the event is completed today.
“I’m looking forward to hitting the streets of Townsville. It is one of my favourite circuits on our calendar,” Pither said.
“In Darwin we improved our qualifying performance. Unfortunately, the races didn’t go our way, so we push to build on our qualifying form and convert race results.
“Coming into Townsville, the longer 250km fuel races will be fun. The mix tyre compounds, and different strategies will create variables across the field, we should see lots of passing.”
Last year, PremiAir Racing was part of the on-track drag racing entertainment at the NTI Townsville 500 and now 12 months later, returns as part of the main show.
“It is certainly going to be a different experience for us in Townsville this year, and it is pretty cool to look at all we have achieved in the last 12 months,” PremiAir Racing Team Owner and Top Fuel pilot, Peter Xiberras, said.
The NTI Townsville 500 action will commence tomorrow (Friday 8 July) with two practice sessions at 10.10am and 2.50pm. Saturday will host an all-in qualifying session at 9.50am ahead of a Top Ten Shootout at 12.00pm, ahead of the 88-lap race 19 at 2.45pm. The same format will be employed on Sunday, with qualifying at 10.10am, the Top Ten Shootout at 12.00pm and the 88-lap race 20 at 2.45pm. To learn more about this event, which is the first official Indigenous Round for Supercars, please visit www.supercars.com.au