Two races into the Boost Mobile Super Trucks‘ Townsville 500 weekend and both events have produced first-time winners. Paul Weel held off Race #1 winner Toby Price in the final laps to score his maiden Stadium Super Trucks victory.
An inversion from the first race placed Dave Casey at the front alongside Rob Whyte; Phillip Foster would have been on the pole as he finished last due to a broken rear axle, but he elected to start at the rear. Casey led the opening corners before a scramble resulted in him being passed by Whyte and much of the field. More battles resulted in Whyte having to skip the jump coming to the start of lap two, allowing Shaun Richardson to take the lead.
Paul Morris, who had a quiet Race #1 due to brake issues, took the lead and held the position to the first competition caution ahead of Weel and Richardson. Prior to the yellow, Trav Milburn hit Shae Davies‘ rear in the final corner, spinning him and causing Milburn to lose his hood.
On the restart, Weel overtook Morris in turn two. Price took second from Morris shortly before the second competition yellow, while Weel continued to lead. Although Price successfully made the pass in turns eleven and twelve to lead lap eight (damaging his hood afterwards), Weel returned the favour in turn two of the ensuing circuit.
The final lap was marked by duels between Weel and Price, which ended with the former pulling away, and Morris and Davies, who made contact twice in turns two and eleven. The first incident stemmed from Morris locking up his brakes as he, Davies, and Price entered the corner, shooting him left and squeezing Davies into the wall. Morris’ tie rod eventually broke off and rendered him unable to turn into turn eleven, causing another collision with Davies that resulted in damage to Morris’ left-front wheel, though he was able to cross the line.
Weel’s maiden win comes in his eleventh career start and fourth weekend; his previous best finish had been third on three occasions. With Price and Weel scoring victories, Townsville is the first weekend with multiple inaugural winners since Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Jeff Hoffman won at Perth in 2018.
“About time we got a win @ssupertrucksau race 2 in Townsville,” wrote Weel on Instagram. “Great battle with my mate @tobyprice87 and thanks to my great sponsors”.
Price finished second ahead of Richardson, the latter taking his fifth podium. Although Milburn crossed the finish in third and ahead of Richardson, he received a penalty for losing his hood and was dropped to fourth.
“Got a win in Race 1 and 2nd in Race 2 behind Weely, was good to battle with you mate,” Price posted. “Been a good day so far… one more to go tomorrow… Big thanks for all the crews working on our trucks, you guys are unreal!”
Whyte exited the race on lap three with a damaged brake line.
“On the first lap, I just noticed the back brakes were locking up and it just got worse and worse,” said Whyte in an interview. “I was just going down that main straight at warp speed and had no brakes so it’s quite scary.”
The third and final race of the weekend will take place on Sunday, 11 July, at 11:25 AM AEST.