V8 fan Rex Baxter from Victoria sporting a coat of many badges collected over 15 years of V8 action.
V8 fan Rex Baxter from Victoria sporting a coat of many badges collected over 15 years of V8 action. Claudia Baxter

Big crowd soaks up race fun

MORE THAN 50,000 die hard racing fans have lapped up the motor racing action at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 over the weekend, cheering Craig Lowndes to another win.

V8 Supercars CEO Martin Whitaker said despite the early morning rain, 12,499 more people had poured through the gates at Queensland Raceway this year compared with last year.

He said Saturday had been the bumper day for crowds with 17,894 fans watching the action, 16,033 on Friday and 16,498 yesterday.

“We are delighted with the turnout which shows V8 Supercars is enormously popular in this region which is very much a heartland of motorsport,” Mr Whitaker said.

“Its been really great to see the hill packed full of families enjoying the weekend despite the heavy rain that began the day and let’s not forget the fact that the Brisbane exhibition has been part of the considerations when planning the family spending.”

Whether it was Super Bikes, Formula Ford, the Aussie Racing Cars or the big V8s, there was plenty of furious-paced action at the Queensland Raceway circuit.

Among those taking in the action was V8 fan Rex Baxter, who said he averaged nine race meets, including Bathurst, a year.

“I love the sound of the engines and the close racing,” he said.

The 59-year-old Victorian, proudly wore his passion on his sleeve, with his coat decorated with team and event badges.

He said it was a tradition which had started by chance in Bathhurst about 15 years ago, when he and a group of mates bought army coats from a local op shop to keep warm.

The tradition continued, with the group following the action around the country, all proudly wearing their colourful coats.

“The jacket has a lot of memories attached to it,” he said.