With the 2016 Australian V8 Superboats Championship fast approaching, the Australian Formula Jet Sprint Association [AFJSA] have revealed plans to introduce a new class of competition into the sport to attract former entries back to competition, with the development of the Sportsman class.
“As the series has evolved over the last few years, competition has become more focussed around the Unlimited Superboat and International Group A (400 Class) categories as teams have progressed through the ranks,” AFJSA President Ted Sygidus explained.
“In many cases the boats with which they served their rookie years have been sold on, or put in the garage as they’ve progressed up the order, and it’s those boats we’re looking to attract back into the sport.”
Originally introduced as the 350 Class of competition, over recent years the sport’s introductory class has battled to attract significant entries, as both Unlimited and Group A have blossomed, prompting much discussion internally about a solution.
“We’ve renamed the class to Sportsman to take the emphasis off the 350 cubic-inch powerplant, with Sportsman rules (introduced in 2016) paving the way for the cost-effective Chevrolet LS3 ‘crate’ engine to be introduced into the category,” Sygidus added.
“We’re also doing away initially with battles over outright results, with teams asked to ‘Dial Your Own’ lap time ahead of the event to encourage consistency and take the focus off outright performance, something which many felt was a contributor to costs blowing out in what was the introductory class of the sport.”
“Starting from the Colin Parish Memorial Trophy event at Allcott Hire Park in Temora on Saturday 5 March, we’re inviting former 350 Class teams to get their boats back in the water and enjoy again the thrill of jetboating. There’s also great incentive for the first event, with a Sportsman driver in the running to claim the inaugural Colin Parish Trophy, and the $1000 winners cheque that comes with it.
“That event will award the fastest teams in each class as we always do, but as a ‘special’ event for the Colin Parish Trophy, we’re awarding the Trophy and the winner’s cheque to the most consistent boat on time across the three classes over all three finals, which potentially puts three Sportsman class boats in the running for the big prize!”
The Colin Parish Memorial Trophy will provide teams a pre-season ‘shakedown’ ahead of the seven-round Australian V8 Superboats Championship which gets underway at Griffith in central-western New South Wales on Easter Saturday (26 March). The Saturday 5 March event will be a day meeting only, with gates opening for fans at 10:30am in the morning ahead of the finals which will get underway at 2:00pm.
To keep up to date 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
Colin Paris Memorial Trophy - 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]