GALLERY: Rare opportunity for Supercars fans
WITH two of the championship big guns in Ipswich, Supercars fans were always going to be excited.
They were at Orion Shopping Centre on Saturday, gaining close access to top drivers like Supercars champion Jamie Whincup and current series leader Scott McLaughlin.
Whincup and McLaughlin were crowd favourites at the successful Coates Hire Community Day at Springfield Central, where the drivers mingled more freely with fans than at past events.
Diehard fans, wearing the gear of their favourite race teams, turned up early despite the chilly conditions.
Being a Saturday morning rather than school day, lots of young fans enjoyed the family occasion where Whincup and McLaughlin were joined by other Supercars drivers Fabian Coulthard, Tim Slade and Nick Percat.
The relaxed and friendly track speedsters made it a memorable community day in the lead-up to the latest Supercars round at Queensland Raceway this weekend.
The main street at Orion Shopping Centre was turned into a mini motorsport park with a Queensland Raceway track simulator also providing entertainment and a challenge for the fans brave enough to test their virtual skills.
The drivers and fans also had photos taken with the Supercars trophy before a traditional autograph session.
As the Supercars drivers mingled around the different zones, seven-time championship winner Whincup shared why he enjoyed the latest fan session in Ipswich so much.
"Today in particular, we're mixing it up - to do a bit of interacting,'' Whincup said.
"This is probably my 15th year or so in the category. The boring old signing session doesn't really float the boat these days but the fact that we've got some activities going on and can move around and interact, that's excellent.
"There's plenty of personalities out there and I love learning about people and getting their opinions as well.''
As fans received giveaways for joining the Supercars road show, Ipswich round backers Coates Hire made a $5000 presentation to Ronald McDonald House, to assist families with sick children.
The Queensland Times was a major supporter of the latest Supercars community day. QT features writer Darren Hallesy compered the well-received event.
Tickets for this weekend's Supercars round in Ipswich are available at ticketek.com.au