The Australian Formula Jet Sprint Association [AFJSA] have just unveiled their competition calendar for the 2016 season, a season that has stretched to eight events, and whilst both Temora and Cabarita will feature strongly, so too will an old favourite.
“The AFJSA has always strived to improve over the years, and 2016 is no different,” Ted Sygidus, the recently re-elected President of the AFJSA explained.
“We’ve looked at the calendar, talked about what the teams wanted to do, and looked at how we could combat the testing financial situation the world is in right now to make it easier for people to get involved in the sport, because it’s our newer and younger members who will be the face of the future.
“Ultimately the calendar includes an event every month from March till May, then a break for the colder, wetter winter months, then again between early August and late October.”
A popular venue in the sport’s past, Griffith looks likely to return to the championship in 2016, adopting its former Easter calendar slot.
“Griffith at Easter was always popular with the teams, and popular with the local fans,” Sygidus said. “Like us, they’re a volunteer group that requires hands on support at the events, and that has been difficult to arrange the last few seasons, but with the support of Slade Stanley and the Griffith Club, it looks like we’ll be back this year. The event under lights has always been well subscribed by local fans, and the venue has always proven challenging for the competitors, with some of the biggest crashes in the sports history, so we’re expecting it to continue to provide plenty of action.”
There will also be a new initiative ahead of the start of the 2016 Australian Championships, with the introduction of the Temora Cup in early March, an event that will kick off the 2016 season at Allcott Hire Park in Temora.
“Some of our teams are in New Zealand for the UIM World Titles, and they’ll be fresh for the new year, but for the rest of us, this will be our chance to get sorted and get our season underway. The newly established Temora Cup will feature a trophy for the winners and a cash prize as incentive - it will also be a good opportunity at the end of summer for the fans to see the boats back in action before the cooler weather sets in.”
Whilst the 2016 calendar features venues that are well known to the competitors, the AFJSA is continuing to negotiate for new venues, negotiations that are continuing into the new year.
“We had hoped to bring a new circuit online this year, and whilst that’s still a possibility towards the end of the year, it was too risky to include it in the calendar,” Sygidus explained.
“These days there is a significant amount of red tape involved in building a new circuit, from politics, to insurance, the environment and security, it’s not just a matter of sticking a bucket in the ground and dragging out some dirt, it’s an ongoing process that takes a significant investment in time from the committee, but we’re committed and it’s certainly one of our primary goals moving forward.”
2015 saw some spirited V8 Superboat competition across the six national rounds, with Phonsy Mullan, Mark Garlick and Jake Garlick claiming the three Australian titles, Mullan his fourth, Mark Galick also claiming his fourth title, whilst Jake Garlick claimed title number three.
The competition was intense, with consistency the key, something Mullan showed time and time again on his way to an undefeated season to claim his third successive Unlimited crown.
Season 2016 promises more of the same, with a number of new title contenders expected across all three classes as news of new boats and new teams comes to light.
2016 will also see the introduction of the ‘Sportsman’ category, replacing the original 350 Class of competition, a development that is designed to bolster the introductory class of the sport.
“With the tight financial situation around the world at the moment, cost containment is important,” Sygidus explained. “The 350 Class has struggled to maintain significant entry numbers in recent seasons, so we’ve looked at the class and have decided to restructure it to make it more cost effective.
“From this season moving forward, the category will include the original 350 Class (350 cubic-inch) powerplants mixed in with the Chevrolet LS3 ‘crate’ engine, an engine which is significantly cheaper to run and maintain than a purpose built 350.
“The aim is to allow those people with boats an opportunity to sell the boats to new competitors, or potentially sell their existing 350 powerplants, and invest in a cheaper engine and return to competition, something which is vitally important for the future of the sport.”
To keep up with the 2016 Australian V8 Superboat Championships keep in touch with www.v8superboats.com.au and www.facebook.com/V8Superboats for updates as they emerge.
2016 Australian Superboat Championships
Temora Cup - 5 March, Temora (NSW)
Rnd#1 - 26 March, Griffith (NSW)*
Rnd#2 - 23 April, Temora (NSW) - ANZAC Day Tribute
Rnd#3 - 21 May, Temora (NSW)
Rnd#4 - 6-7 August, Tweed Coast (NSW)
Rnd#5 - 3-4 September, Tweed Coast (NSW)
Rnd#6 - 1 October, Temora (NSW)
Rnd#7 - 29 October, Temora (NSW) [FINAL]
* to be confirmed
2015 Australian V8 Superboat Championships - Series points
Unlimited Superboat (after round six of six)
1. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) - 190 points, 2. Rob Coley (Poison Ivy) - 147, 3. Jamie Welch (Natwel Racing) - 144, 4. Daryl Hutton (Total Lubricants) - 143, 5. Brooke Avenell (Hi-Tec Oils) - 140, 6. Ted Sygidus (Frankenstein) - 139, 7. Greg Mercier (ACOL Racing) - 106, 8. Paul Burgess (Daly Transport) - 106, 9. Cheryl Welch (Natwel Racing) - 104, 10. Darek Sygidus (Frankenstein) - 104, 11. Mick Carroll (Excalibur) - 90, 12. Tremayne Jukes (JRE Engines) - 79, 13. Daniel deVoigt (Q-BEARS) - 78, 14. Tony Giustozzi (Excalibur) - 74, 15. Paul Gaston (Frankenstein Jnr) - 36, 16. Louise Dixon (Hi-Tec Oils) - 34, 17. Phil Dixon (Hi-Tec Oils) - 30.
400-Class (Group A) (after round six of six)
1. Mark Garlick (Grumpy) - 177 points, 2. Damian O’Leary (Kryptonite) - 168, 3. Kevin Laugesen (Spanet) - 146, 4. Brad Marsden (Allcott Transformer) - 140, 5. Greg Harriman (Pangaea Floors) - 134, 6. Brett Thornton (Obsession) - 129, 7. Brooke Lucas (Trouble Maker) - 120, 8. Jesse Watkins (Kanaris Engines) - 98, 9. Peter Monger (Mongrel) - 90, 10. Dave Moody (Jackhammer) - 52, 11. Paul Kelly (Anaconda) - 50, 12. Ben Hathaway (Allcott Transformer) -22, 13. Mark Seddon (18), 14. Scott Krause (Soak’n Fused) - 18
350-Class (after round six of six)
1. Jake Garlick (Evil As) - 141, 2. Ben Hathaway (Allcott Transformer) - 135
For more information on the 2016 Australian V8 Superboat Championships, please visit www.v8superboats.com.au