Lachlan Gibbons triumphs in Townsville
Two race wins solidified Sydneysider Lachlan Gibbons’ lead on Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia 86 Series following the third round in Townsville.
Escaping the rain and floods at home, Gibbons embraced the summer-like conditions of Far North Queensland to tackle the tricky street circuit, a venue he missed out on racing at in 2021 due to COVID lockdowns.
“I came into the round feeling positive given our championship position but unsure of our pace given we couldn’t go to Townsville in 2021 due to the COVID lockdowns,” Gibbons said.
“Actually, it was awesome to get some time up in Townsville away from the flooding issues in Sydney, I love the track and it’s a real challenge to get the most out of the car.”
It didn’t take long for the 25-year-old to refamiliarize himself with the circuit, getting straight back on the pace in practice.
Also putting the niggling mechanical issues from the previous rounds behind him.
“I’m very happy to put the car problems we’ve been suffering for the last 12 months behind us,” Gibbons continued.
“I felt like a huge weight off my shoulders, and it really let me focus on just enjoying the driving and the unique challenge of Townsville.”
“The car was an absolute missile from the word go – I need to give a huge thanks to the work done by the team in the last six weeks to sort out our problems from Bathurst and give me a car that not only was fast but a heap of fun to drive.”
A busy schedule for the Supercars event saw qualifying for the one-make Toyota series held on the Friday.
Unfortunately for Gibbons, he wasn’t able to put a clean lap together during the 20-minute session and was only able to set the fourth-fastest time.
Something that he would immediately make up for in the opening race of the weekend.
A good start saw Gibbons jump up into second place by the end of the first lap, before a decisive move on after the safety car restart on Lap 7 saw him take the lead and ultimately the win in Race 1.
A result he backed up in the second race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon with a lights-to-flag victory.
Sunday’s final race of the weekend saw Gibbons finish second after a hard-fought tussle for the lead following yet another safety car restart, securing a good solid bank of points with two rounds left to run.
“It was a tough weekend for some of our championship rivals, which made it even more critical for me to focus on getting a good haul of points coming into the last two rounds of the season,” Gibbons said.
“While I missed out on the last race win, we still extended our lead this round which was the goal from the get-go.”
“The only real disappointment from the weekend was the number of safety car laps we had, which is unfortunate but a part of racing on street circuits.
“Of course, I’m glad everyone walked away ok from the various incidents across the weekend.”
Gibbons would also like to take the opportunity to thank his key supporters who are based in the northern part of Queensland.
“It was really fantastic to have a great bunch of local support in Townsville! Our sponsors Old Mate Removals and S&W Crane Hire are both North Queensland based, and we finally had the chance to put on a show for them at home.
“Also big shout-out to Boydy for inviting us up to the box on Saturday.”
A reinvigorated and determine Gibbons now turns his attention to the penultimate round of the series at Sandown Raceway in Victoria, a venue that the Sydneysider has plenty of experience racing at.