The Australian V8 Superboat Championships will return to its unofficial home at Max Hire Park in Temora on March 7 for the first round of the 2015 season, promising another exciting battle between the country’s best drivers.
Last November three champions were crowned at the Temora season finale, but almost as soon as that event was completed, those results were committed to history. This weekend’s event however represents a new chapter in V8 Superboats as the slate has been wiped clean, and Temora represents just the first of seven events on the 2015 schedule, although as reigning Unlimited Superboat champion Phonsy Mullan admitted, it is an important round from which to build a championship.
‘Last season I had a few issues during the season opener at Temora, and it really set my title defence back a long way, the two-time Unlimited champion admitted. Despite all the setbacks we still made the final and were looking good until three corners from home where I ran out of fuel.
‘We’ve had a good run at Temora over the last couple of years, so I expect we’ll be in the mix again, but there’s a group of drivers I’ll be keeping a close eye on, including Brooke Dixon (Avenell), Darek Sygidus and Greg Mercier. There’s also a few rising young stars like Tremayne Jukes coming through this year, plus some of the Temora regulars who on their day can turn in blistering laps, so whilst our only focus is victory, it will be by no means easy.
Whilst Mullan is likely to start favourite in his 1400bhp twin-turbo 445 cubic-inch V8 ‘RAMJET’, he can expect to be put under pressure by one of the most popular drivers in V8 Superboats, and herself a two-time champion – Melbourne’s Brooke Avenell. Avenell won her maiden event in the Unlimited class at Temora exactly 12-months ago, and she’ll be looking to achieve the double this weekend. A two-time 400-Class champion, Dixon is one of the smoothest drivers in the world, and more than capable of mixing it with the best Unlimited Superboat drivers in the world, many of whom will be entered at her ‘home’ track, this weekend.
Reigning world #2 and former Unlimited champion Greg Mercier will also return with the always popular 572 cubic-inch V8 powered ‘Shark’ liveried Unlimited Superboat, whilst the popular ‘Frankenstein’ boat of brothers Ted and Darek Sygidus is also likely to figure in the outright results, the two former 400-Class champions are always exciting to watch, as is the mother-and-son combination from Western Australia, Cheryl and Jamie Welch in Natwel Racing.
Throw in a strong field of 400 Class entries led by 2014 runner-up Damien O’Leary, and the man who kept him honest last year – Mark Garlick – and you have another recipe for great action. Sadly we won’t see reigning champion Jake Garlick for the opening round, the young Queenslander committed to work at home, leaving his father to battle for outright honours against the likes of O’Leary, Greg Harriman and Kevin Laugesen.
Australian Formula Jet Sprint Association President Ted Sygidus – himself one of the leading contenders in the Unlimited class – admitted that 2015 was going to present a tough challenge for the series regulars. ‘We say every year that the competition is tougher, but it’s a reality,’ Sygidus admitted. ‘We have some of the best drivers and teams in the world competing in the Australian championships, something we proved last year during the world championships in the USA. We’re also very happy to kick our new season into gear at Temora. Apart from anything it is our spiritual home, and the locals have always been great supporters, so we can’t wait to turn on the action under lights on March 7, and give them a great show.
Gates open at Max Hire Park (located at Lake Centenary, 3-kilometres north of Temora on Barmedman Road – diagonally opposite Temora Airport) at 3:00pm on 7 March, with racing underway at 6:00pm.
Tickets are available online – Adults $25, 5-16 years $5, Family pass $50.
MAX HIRE Park is proudly supported by MaxHire, Intersales Temora, Temora Fuel Distributors and Temora Shire Council.
10. Brooke Avenell/Lauren Hopkins (Hi-Tec Oils)
18. Paul Burgess/Liam Hayes (Daly Transport)
22A. Jamie Welch/Simone Craige (Natwel Racing)
22B. Cheryl Welch/Shauna Dean (Natwel Racing)
23. Phonsy Mullan/Kelsie Gill (RAMJET)
27. Greg Mercier/Dorinda Mercier (ACOL Racing)
86. Daniel deVoigt/Vicki Burrell (Q-BEARS)
666A. Ted Sygidus/Braydon Houston (Frankenstein)
666B. Darek Sygidus/Austin Gill (Frankenstein)
400 Class (Group A):
39. Kevin Laugesen/Jessica Winsley (spanet)
66. Brad Marsden/Melinda McMullen (Allcott Transformer)
79. Damien O’Leary/tbc (Kryptonite)
95. Mark Garlick/Jamie Anderson (Grumpy)
99A. Troy McKenzie/Shaun Woodhouse (Predator)
99B. Shane Allen/Jaise Allen (Predator)
360. Greg Harriman/Sammy Leonard (AQUA Bar)
3:00pm – Qualifying (Round#1)
3:45pm – Qualifying (Round#2)
4:30pm – Qualifying (Round#3)
5:15pm – Qualifying (Round#4)
8:00pm – Top 12 (all classes)
9:00pm – Top 6 (all classes)
9:40pm – FINALS (all classes)
2015 Australian Superboat Championships:
Rnd#1 – 7 March, Temora (NSW)
Rnd#2 – 4 April, Griffith (NSW)
Rnd#3 – 23-24 May, Tweed Coast (NSW)
Rnd#4 – 8-9 August, Tweed Coast (NSW)
Rnd#5 – 26 September, (venue TBC)
Rnd#6 – 24 October, Temora (NSW)
Rnd#7 – 21-22 November, Tweed Coast (NSW)
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