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Boats ready to roar

Speed, spray, action – The roar of race boats will return to Lake Mulwala this weekend April 12 and 13 as part of the Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix (AFPGP) racing series.

JARED LOUGHNAN April 8, 2014 2:56pm

The event will be held in front of the Mulwala Water Ski Club and will showcase the fastest formula outboard boats in Australia.

Malaysian Formula 2 star Yanto Kadri will join drivers from five states, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia to compete in Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3 and the new Formula Opti classes.

These colourful, lightweight, high speed tunnel hulls accelerate and turn at exhilarating speeds. The dock starts, where the boats line up side by side and blast away at the drop of the starter’s flag and race at top speed towards the all-important first turn are breathtaking.

Formula 1 class boats have been likened to Formula 1 race cars and reach a top speed of 230km/h and can accelerate from zero to 160km/h in just four seconds.  The 4.8 metre boats are capable of 5G turns and provide a great spectacle for onlookers.

With 2014 Australian Championship honours still in the balance for all classes, racing at Lake Mulwala is sure to the intense and exciting.

Media spokesperson Mike Cleary said organisers are extremely excited to be back racing on Lake Mulwala and look forward to good conditions.

“Australia’s fastest boats will be competing in the Formula 1 class where current Australian champion, Victorian Paul Eade (Budlight Racing) has built a solid lead. However he will be hard pressed by former champ, Queenslander Damien McKenzie (McKenzie Racing) who has set the pace all season, but mechanical woes have hampered his challenge.

“Currently sitting in second spot in the series is fellow Queenslander Craig Truslove (Anglomoil). He along with Gavin Simmons (Watersports Marine) who placed second at Round 2 have both found extra speed at each round this season and could cause an upset.”

Mr Cleary said a capacity field of up to fourteen boats could front the starter for Formula 2.

“Rhys Coles (Rhys Coles Marine, NSW) and Andrew King (Marine Tech, NSW) have both shared and led this extremely competitive series at different stages. Despite currently leading the series by a narrow margin Coles will debut a new boat at this round, an Italian built DAC, the same design as raced by King.

He said the Formula 2 class the field runs deep with talent. A number of drivers led by Simon Troy (888, NSW), Yanto Kadri (Kadri Group, Maylasia), Cory Davoll (#95, NSW) and Todd Leary (SPR, TAS) are capable of taking the win and turning the Formula 2 series around at Lake Mulwala.

“According to a recent poll, Jake Greentree (Greentree Racing, QLD) is favoured to win Round 3 of the Formula 3 series. Greentree will not have it all his own way as his biggest competitor Will Parker (Wasp Racing, NSW) who lost the lead after a huge incident with a turn buoy at Round 2 will be back, pushing to the limit. Meanwhile, Joel Downes (Downes Marine, QLD) and his enthusiastic team have been doing plenty of development work between rounds as has Will Parker’s father, Kevin (Wasp Racing), which may lead to a few surprises,” Mr Cleary said.

Formula Opti will also be on the program at Lake Mulwala. Formula Opti boats are all powered by Optimax 200XS SST outboards that were developed by Mercury Marine as a green, environmentally friendly race engine. Using the very latest in 2 stoke technology these engines have a capacity of 2.5L producing 200hp with a maximum of 8000rpm and a top speed exceeding 200kph.

“As in F2 & F3 we have seen changes to the Formula Opti series lead throughout the season with three different race winners, Grant Trask (GTR, QLD), Don McClymont (Advantage Marine, VIC) and current series leader Michael Page (Page Racing, NSW), Mr Cleary said. 

“David Ainley (Express Design, QLD) showed he had the pace to challenge for a win at Round 2 before he lost his prop shaft and hard charger Damien McMahon (Psycho Clowns, WA) along with newcomer Jason Heaney (Advantage Marine, VIC) could provide an unexpected result.”

Also on the program will be the entertaining Formula Futures class for junior drivers aged from 10 to 16 years of age. Competitors in these fun but hotly contested classes race small lightweight vee shape Monohulls powered by 6 to 15 horsepower depending on their age and experience. 

Racing on Saturday and Sunday will commence at 9am. Scrutineering of the boats will commence at 1pm at the pit area located at the Mulwala Water Ski Club. Entry to the pit area over the weekend is just $5 for adults, children will be admitted free and will receive an event poster.

For more information on the series, visit their website www.formulapowerboats.com.au .

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