The Tyreright Australian Superboat Championships will be decided at the final round, for the second season in succession.
The season finale on October 29-30 will be held at Hi-Tec Oils Park at Lake Centenary in Temora (central-western NSW).
Last season there were three drivers in with an outright chance of victory in the hotly contested, strictly governed International Group A [400 Class] category, and two of the drivers that battled for the title win - with the victor taking the title by a solitary point - going head-to-head once more; Melton’s Triple X team-mates, and brothers, Ted and Darek Sygidus.
The team are tight lipped about what will transpire in the final round, but as hard as they are as competitors, they’re a tight family, and there’s just as much chance that reigning title holder Ted will allow younger brother - and reigning World and Australian #2 – Darek to take his maiden Superboat title, which would give Triple X three titles for three drivers in four years..
One rumour currently circulating in Melton is that the team are preparing a third boat - whether that’s as an insurance policy in case one or the other of them throws the boat out of the water in spectacular fashion (as they did last time out at Cabarita, fortunately without title ending consequences), or as a chance for them to go head-to-head and push the boats to the absolute limit - only time (about a week..) will tell!
Sadly the third driver who was also in contention for title victory last year - Brooke Dixon - is not directly in the title equation this year, but the Hi-Tec Oils supported star loves the Temora layout, and will be eager to add another round win to her resume. Like Stingray Racing’s Tremayne Jukes and 321Ignition’s Jake Garlick (the pair separated by just a single point in the race for the final championship podium position), Dixon is in with a mathematical chance of victory should either of the leaders falter, but the title race is likely to be an all Triple X affair..
In the Unlimited Superboat class, mathematically the title is still wide-open, but only a disaster will stop 2007 champion Dean Finch (Loose Cannon) from taking his second Unlimited title, which will put an end to the reign of current back-to-back champion, kiwi Daryl Hutton (Team Solo).
These guys won’t be the only ones battling for valuable championships points with the ‘odd couple’ Phil Dixon and Greg Mercier sharing driving duties in the ACOL Skylights machine. Separated by just three points, the two mates will share Mercier’s boat after Dixon’s Auspro Logistics Sprintec suffered major engine failure at Cabarita’s penultimate round. Campaigning a similar ex-Dixon 500ci injected alloy Chev in a Sprintec almost identical to Dixon’s hull, Phil will have little trouble settling into ‘the shark’ and may well usurp Mercier’s run at the championship podium - it will provide another interesting battle.
And whilst all this goes on, cunning former Group A champion Phonsy Mullan continues to tweak his twin-turbo Chev LSX powered ‘RAM-JET’ and he may well be in the box seat to pick up any offerings left by the battle for championship points ahead of him. After three seasons of modifying and tweaking his engine/jet unit combination, Mullan has finally settled on a combo that works, and with the added assistance of multiple world champion (and Sprintec boat builder) Peter Caughey at Melton recently, Mullan has the boat tuned to perfection, so keep an eye on the ‘wild’ card..
Of the three classes competing for the final round of the Tyreright supported national championships, the 350 Class is the least likely to see fireworks over championship position, with runaway points leader and reigning AUS#2 Daniel deVoigt (DEVO 2) well clear of outstanding series rookie Brett Thornton (Obsession).
deVoigt has admitted that whilst it’s unlikely he will be challenged for the title victory, he isn’t going to just take it easy and amass points. 'No way, I’ve got a few things I want to try to see whether I can go that next step further in performance. Brett is doing a brilliant job, and he gets quicker each time, so I don’t want to get too comfortable.'
Thornton won’t be deVoight’s only threat at Temora though, with Deniliquin duo Robert Hallum and David Blake back in action with ‘IGA Racing’. 'We’ve had a few mechanical dramas this year which has kept us out of the equation,' Hallum admitted. 'But we’ve just taken delivery back of the engine after a complete rebuild by Church Race and Restoration in Shepparton, and we’re ready, we’re coming back, and we’re coming back to win,' he warned.
Racing gets underway at Hi-Tec Oils Park (Lake Centenary, 3km north of Temora on Barmedman Road - diagonally opposite Temora Airport) from midday on Saturday (October 29) with the first of the qualifying rounds, before a full day of competition from 9:00am on Sunday (October 30) for the remainder of the qualifying rounds and the all important finals.
Ticket prices; $20/day ($25 for 2-day pass), Children 12-16 $10/day ($15 for two days), Children Under 12 FREE. Family** pass $50/day ($60 for 2-day pass).
** family – 2x adults, 3x kids 12-16.
Who to watch;
Australian Championship favourite Daniel deVoigt (DEVO 2) who is making the trip down from Brisbane will be the likely pacesetter, but he will be under huge pressure from ‘locals’ David Blake and Robert Hallum. Add in the Melton-based ‘Predator’ team of Troy McKenzie and Shane Allen, and you have one very exciting recipe for an outright battle for the round win.
400 Class (International Group A);
Just about everyone.. Last year under the pressure of a title race, the Triple X team came very close to dropping the ball – they weren’t their usual selves and seemed to struggle under pressure. That happened again at Cabarita during Rnd#3 this year, but they quickly made amends the following round (same venue) with a 1-2. With more experience and a bigger points buffer to the chasing pack, they should be untroubled at Temora, but may not be the outright winners..
Like Hutton in the Unlimited Class, there are a couple of hungry and talented drivers who need to attack and win in order to mount any challenge on the Triple X duo. Of those, Jake Garlick is already a proven winner, and the former 350 Class title holder took the win at Rnd#3 when Triple X stumbled. Likewise, Tremayne Jukes has been strong all year, but his achiles-heel has been driving different boats at different rounds, not much consistency there... Then you’ve got Brooke Dixon who you can never discount, the Hi-Tec Oils supported multiple race winner (and reigning world #2) loves Temora and may well come out of the round as the victor.
Whatever happens, it’s a long way from over, and if there’s one thing we’ve seen a lot of this year, it’s that anything can happen.. and it often does!
Where to start.. Clearly the standout in 2011 has been Dean Finch, but the cunning multiple champion knows how to win a title, so may not be provoked into setting one of his notoriously quick times. That said, if he wraps the title up by the end of the qualifiers, anything could happen.. Daryl Hutton has only once chance at a third consecutive title – WIN.. EVERYTHING, he doesn’t have a choice. As one of the most spectacular drivers in the world (they don’t call him ‘Nutsy’ for nothing), Hutton is an amazing driver, and will extract every inch of horsepower from the ‘little’ supercharged 440ci Chev powerplant.
The battle for third in the championship too will see another exciting fight, but what’s interesting here is that Greg Mercier and Phil Dixon will be sharing driving duties in ‘the shark’. With just three points in it, anything could happen, especially as their boats are almost identical, so multiple champion Dixon will have little trouble adapting.
We’re not finished there.. Throw in Phonsy Mullan, who will be lightning fast in the much modified twin-turbo LSX powered ‘RAM-JET’, and emerging star Jamie Welch in Skywest Racing, and you have one awesome recipe for some more of the best racing you’ll see anywhere in the world! 2011 Tyreright Australian Superboat Championships -
Championship points (adjusted to include dropping worst round)
1. Dean Finch (Loose Cannon) - 192 points
2. Daryl Hutton (Team Solo) - 177
3. Greg Mercier (ACOL Skylights) - 150
4. Phil Dixon (Auspro Logistics) - 147
5. Phonsy Mullan (RAM-JET) - 136
6. Jamie Welch (Skywest Racing) - 134
7. Cheryl Welch (Skywest Racing) - 116
8. Jody Ely (Jackhammer) - 111
9. Adam Raverty (Jackhammer) - 103
10. Tyler Finch (Loose Cannon) - 77
11. Louise Dixon (Auspro Logistics) - 39
12. Peter Freckleton (Team Solo) - 21
13. Glenn Roberts (Blown Budget) - 19
14. Paul Burgess (Canberra Floorcraft) - 16
15. Andrew Page (Kamakazi) - 0
International Group A (400 Class)
1. Darek Sygidus (Triple X) - 187 points
2. Ted Sygidus (Triple X) - 187
3. Tremayne Jukes (Stingray Racing) - 159
4. Jake Garlick (321Ignition) - 158
5. Brooke Dixon (Hi-Tec Oils) - 136
6. Damian O’Leary (Kryptonite) - 132
7. Robert Colman (Tunna-Gut’s) - 102
8. Greg Harriman (321Ignition) - 84
9. Rodney Krause (Soak’n Fused) - 69
10. Brooke Lucas (EBSA) - 64
11. Kieran Krause (Soak’n Fused) - 50
12. Mick Manini (Cool Bananas) - 48
13. Brad Marsden (Air8ed) - 46
14. Kevin Laugesen (SpaNET) - 39
15. Shane Loughnan (Vicious) - 35
16. Nathan Dickenson (Witch Bank) - 34
1. Daniel deVoigt (DEVO 2) - 198 points
2. Brett Thornton (Obsession) - 170
3. Troy McKenzie (Predator) - 110
4. Shane Allen (Predator) - 78
5. David Blake (IGA Racing) - 59
6. Betina Dickenson (Witch Way) - 47
7. Robert Hallum (IGA Racing) - 40
8. Shane Brennan (Miztabanks) - 37
9. Lauren Dickenson (Witch Way) - 26
10. Mark Garlick (Evil As) - 0
11. Jeremy Kincaid (Pheonix) - 0
12. Daniel James (Stingray Racing) - 0
V8 Superboats website
Final (Round 5) 2011 Tyreright Australian Superboat Championships, Hi-Tec Oils Park, Lake Centenary, Temora, NSW - 29-30 October, 2011.
Hi-Tec Oils Park (V8 Superboats Temora) is located 3km north of Temora on Barmedman Road (Hwy #85) at Lake Centenary, the track is diagonally opposite Temora Airport. For more information on the Temora area (accommodation, points of interest etc, please visit; www.temora.com.au