THE North Queensland Cowboys won’t be taking things slow during their bye weekend as they suit up for some high-octane thrills at the Townsville 400.
Cowboys stars Kyle Feldt, Ethan Lowe, and Antonio Winterstein, coach Paul Green, and former player Glenn Hall will all be treated to a hot lap experience in the Toyota 86s.
They’ll tear around the Reid Park street circuit at speeds of more than 190kmh, with experienced rally drivers Neal and Harry Bates doing their best to get the adrenaline pumping.
Green had the chance to experience a hot lap with Supercars driver Will Davison last year and he joked that he’d ask the Toyota 86 drivers to take things a little easier with his star players.
“I’ve told the drivers to stick to the speed limit, just for safety reasons, but I don’t know how much they’ll listen to me,” Green said.
“There’s no brake pedal in front of your side, that’s the only downside. Every time you come to a corner, you’re looking for the brake, but it’s really exciting.
“I’ve told them to just hang on. It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush so the boys are pretty excited about it.”
Neal Bates is a four-time Australian Rally champion while his son Harry currently leads the series and the duo said they are determined to show the rugby league stars what it’s like behind the wheel of a racing car.
“If I got on the football field with them then I’d be scared spitless and even though they’re big, tough men they’ll probably feel the same with us,” Neal said.
Harry added: “For sure, we’ll be going as fast as we can and try to put on the best show we can for them.
“I’m sure they’ve been around here before and know the road, but they’ll just be going around that road a little bit faster.”
It’s the first time the Toyota 86 Racing Series will come to Townsville, with two special Cowboys-branded cars to help mark the occasion.
The Cowboys don’t often have the chance to enjoy the Townsville 400, but with no football commitments this weekend, Green said they were keen to get behind the event.
“It’s perfect timing for us with the weekend off. We’re having a bit of a break so we’re really excited to get out and have a look at how the cars get around there,” Green said.
“It should be a good weekend for Townsville. It’s a great event up here and I’m glad we can get behind it.”