Waitara promises great weather for round three of the MouthFRESH SuperBoat champs on February 26, a stark contrast to round one, which was rained out.
Defending SuperBoat champion Peter Caughey says, “We’ll take that any time, compared to horizontal rain.”
The Methanex aquatrack – named for the international supplier of the racing fuel which rockets these SuperBoats to over 130kph in less than three seconds – is a superb venue, and this round will feature the same island rotation as December’s rained-off event.
Caughey says that will make for a quick start and competitive times by mid event, “And perhaps a few will be tempted into overdriving early in the event, so it could be a game of patience to pace ourselves and save the best for when it really matters.”
As for the points, with round one rained out the points table was set by round two, and Caughey leads by a single point from Blake Briant. “There’s still nothing in it, we’re on the right side of the lead, but no-one can have the confidence that they’ve got an advantage.”
Particularly since this is a quality field. It’s been 10 years since a Briant was at the front of a Superboat field since Peter Briant retired, but his son Blake is very much in contention.
Glen Head also put up competitive times at the last event, and only a navigational error dropped him back, “and he’ll feel he has some unfinished business. He won’t lack motivation.”
Caughey points out there’s a big SuperBoat field this year, “and a mixed bag of results at the top so far, so we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out once the last chequered flag drops.”
“Everyone racing is in with a good chance at the Altherm NZ Jetsprint Champs and there’s a lot of racing ahead, so anything could happen.”
As for Caughey’s ENZED team, they gelled well at round two.
“It’s always nice getting that first event under your belt with a new navigator, and with former sidecar champion ‘swinger’ Louise on board, we can consolidate and build on that.”
“We have a couple of little changes to get her positioned a bit better in the boat, and we’ll work through that with her on Saturday.”
As for the Sprintec boat, the workshop crew – Jeremy and Glen – have been busy designing and planning a new catch tank breather assembly for the ENZED 575 motor, “We’re very pleased with how that’s all come together, we’ll be interested to see how that works and expect a bit better oil control from the breathers.”
And with Louise’s partner Perry standing in as pit crew with Jeremy unable to make the trip north from Canterbury, the ENZED crew is set to impress when the flag drops at Waitara.
MouthFRESH SuperBoat class
1 Peter Caughey 51.5pts
2 Blake Briant 50.5
3 Nick Berryman 49.5
4 Rob Coley 47.5
5 Glen Head 46.5
6 Scott Donald 43.5
7 Aaron Hansen 42.5
8 Garry Stephen 40.5
9 Sam Newdick 39.5
10 Graeme Hill 38.5