Round 6: 2014 Hi-Tec Oils Australian V8 Superboat Championships, Temora, NSW.
Saturday’s sixth and final round of the 2014 Hi-Tec Oils Australian V8 Superboat Championships saw Melton based Phonsy Mullan and navigator Kelsie Gill take overall victory in the unlimited class at Max Hire Park in Temora (NSW).
Sitting third in the season standings heading into the final Mullan had everything go his way as his twin-turbo Ramjet boat propelled the duo to the day’s fastest time and the championship crown.
“You beauty,” was Mullan’s first exclamation at taking back-to-back titles in the fiercely fought series. Setting fastest time in every session he ran, Mullan saved the best for last with a time of 43.614sec – the only time anyone broke into the 43sec bracket all day.
As the near record crowd enjoyed a summer’s day on the banks overlooking the multi-turn track the 30 teams competing had everything to lose.
With the opportunity to practise on the Friday night Unlimited Class competitor Tremayne Jukes had his nerves tested when the steering wheel of his boat came loose, relegating him to passenger status. The boat left the water at speed and launched over the embankment in to the safety area – trailed by residual fuel exhaust flame.
Repaired and ready to race on the Saturday Jukes progressed to the top-six eliminations – finishing tenth overall for the season.
One position ahead of Mullan heading in to the final, Melbourne’s Brooke Dixon had mechanical woes again interrupt a chance of victory electing to put the Hi-Tec Oils boat back on the trailer for the fourth time this season. Brothers Ted and Darek Sygidus lent their boat for Dixon to continue competing. However the luck curse followed with the Frankenstein boat succumbing to a broken flywheel amid the qualifying heats. Teamwork brought life back to their campaign – with Dixon and Darek Sygidus moving through to the eliminations. Progressing through the heats Dixon lined up for the top-three final – against Mullan and series leader Daryl Hutton.
Finishing second fastest, the points advantage held by Hutton kept him ahead of Dixon in the overall standings – albeit behind Mullan for the title. Mullan’s total of 291 was 15 ahead of Hutton once the dropping of their worst round result was factored in. Dixon finished on 262 points.
“It was a bit stressful there for a while but both teams pulled together and got us out on the water,” said Dixon during the prizegiving speeches. “With parts from the 400 class boat and ratchet straps holding it all together we were able to get out there and couldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for the XXX Racing Team crew so thank you so much for that.”
Victoria’s (Hastings) Greg and Dorinda Mercier finished fourth in the standings – despite not being able to contest the final round.
Wrapping up the 400 class (for boats with an engine capacity of 412 cubic inch) Queensland’s (Tewantin) Jake Garlick and navigator Lauren Chen comfortably took the title with their fifth round win of the season. Dominant in the early qualifying Garlick led the 12-strong field into the eliminations – setting a fastest time of 48.435sec in the final.
Holding a one point lead heading into the final round Adelaide’s Damien O’Leary was relying on Garlick making a mistake to have any chance of keeping his top spot. Finishing runner up in the top three shoot out O’Leary could only add 51 points to his tally. He finished 34 behind Garlick’s total of 295 after the dropped round result was factored in.
Contesting his second round for the season Robbie Coleman was a formidable competitor in the top three mix – having the slight advantage over O’Leary in the early heats. However a time difference of 0.7sec in the final left him third for the round.
Fastest in the top-12 eliminations fell to nothing for Victoria’s Shane Loughnan, who went the wrong-way in the top-six elimination – ending his day. Faster than Garlick for most of the timed sessions the error meant he would finish third overall in the standings – a paltry two points behind O’Leary.
Six teams made it for the final in the 350 restricted category class. Largely wrapped up by Victoria’s (Seaford) Jeremy Kincaid and navigator Miles Kincaid before the day started, they didn’t disappoint and maintained their consistent performance to secure the overall title.
Fastest right from first qualifying they maintained their advantage through the elimination heats emerging over a second faster in the top-three final.
Second fastest for much of the day Queensland’s Brett Thornton was narrowly pipped in the final run by Victoria’s Troy McKenzie. However Thornton held the points advantage in the overall standings and while 41 behind Kincaid’s total of 307, his second placing was safe despite being beaten by McKenzie in the final run.