FAN PHOTOS: Supercars draws massive crowd
CRAIG Lowndes' retirement coupled with three picture-perfect days of racing were enough to draw almost 50,000 race fans to Queensland Raceway across the weekend.
Figures released by Supercars revealed 47,851 spectators attended the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint - 365 more than last year's event.
Supercars chief operating officer Shane Howard said Queensland Raceway was "such a heartland for Supercars and motorsport"
"The fans always turn up in big numbers," he said.
"We were extremely pleased they have done it again and shown how much the event means to them.
"The crowds had a great time, the racing was excellent, the hill was packed and people got to say their farewells to Craig."
Thousands of fans travelled from across the state to Queensland Raceway to farewell Lowndes from full-time driving.
The Commodore racer's popularity at his home track was evident, with hundreds of people waiting in the hot sun for Lowndes' autograph.
"I don't think he has had a busier weekend than this one," Mr Howard said.
"The lines for him were absolutely huge.
"He couldn't get to everyone but he will be back next year as a co-driver for 888 and part of the broadcast team."
Lowndes announced at the last Supercars round in Townsville he would retire at the end of this season.
He will return to Supercars next year as a co-driver.
Mr Howard said the event provided a great boost for the wider region.
"This is also a real pillar for the Ipswich economy with some 20,000 visitor nights and around $8 million for the economy," he said.
"We would like to be coming here for a very, very long time to come."
>>VIDEO: Oldie but a goodie