[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Motor racing is an incredible mix of performance, conviviality, noise, rubber smell and passion. And it’s also fantastic for families.
Like similar one-make series races, the Toyota 86 Racing Series demands competitors adhere to a strict car setup, ensuring that driver talent, rather than team budget, is key to winning.
The Townsville race, held on the weekend of July 7 this year, covers a circuit of 2.86km. Cars reach speeds of up to 230 kilometres an hour in an attempt to claim a share of the $150,000 prize pool.
Motosport racing has worked hard to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for families and little fans. That was clearly evident in Townsville.
Toyota puts families front and centre in the organisation of the race. The drivers sign autographs for the kids at the side of the race track. Families can get a feel for the action in the driving simulator. Plenty of food trucks offer tasty treats all day long and the race zone has large shade areas to keep cool.
But it’s the racing action that most families come for, and Townsville’s Toyota 86 Racing Series really allows families to get up close to the action.
“When the drivers are on the grid ready to go you can feel the pressure, the cars are warm, the drivers are concentrating behind their wheel and spectators stop breathing,” Family Travel’s Romain Monnet says.
Romain checked out the series in Townsville and says he was impressed by how many families were in attendance.
Townsville offers families great access to the track. You can see the cars rounding the corner, zooming towards the finish line or pulling into the pits. Dozens of television screens also show the race on live TV so you can track the cars when they disappear from view.
“It creates an amazing feeling to be part of the race,” Romain says. “You can hear the noise of cars arriving, and feel the vibrations and pressure increase when drivers try to pass each other.”
If you do plan to go with kids, Romain suggests bringing headphones. That way you can get close to the action without getting a headache.
The best part of Toyota Racing is that kids can meet the drivers.
“If you time it right, before or after the race when pressure is down, the drivers are happy to share their experience of the car and the race,” Romain says.
“It’s fantastic to speak with a driver in the morning, to ask questions about the car and see them on the circuit or live on TV a few hours later.”
Two of the most popular drivers at the meet and greet in Townsville were Emily Duggan and Madison Dunston.
Emily, 21, started racing five years ago but says she has always loved cars and driving them fast. Racing really appealed to her competitive nature.
“You’re competing for something. You always want to come first, to improve yourself and develop yourself, but also the car,” Emily says.
“It’s a lot of hard work and dedication, if you’re passionate about something you won’t listen to people say no, and tell you that you can’t. You just keep doing it and then you get there.”
While in Townsville families will find plenty to do off the track. Helicopter flights take your for a birds-eye view of the town. Take a ferry out to Magnetic Island for a day of beautiful hiking and swimming. Or head town to the beach front and cool down at Townsville’s fabulous free waterpark.
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