Race against time
PUT a huge V8 motor in a small boat, add a tight demanding circuit, tell the crews to try and beat the clock, and you have a recipe for high-speed action.
And that's exactly what you'll be served up today and tomorrow at the Round Mountain Raceway on the Tweed Coast when the Tweed Valley Jetsprint Club hosts round four of the Australian Championship for both Unlimited Superboats and International Group A boats.
The Tweed Coast course is considered the most demanding drivers' course on the Australian jetsprint circuit, requiring skill and precision from both driver and navigator, rather than just a reliance on horsepower and speed.
Club secretary Michelle Parratt said the meeting had attracted 39 entries in both categories, and with points at a premium, some of the country's best crews and boats would be competing.
“Many of the teams love Round Mountain because of the emphasis it places on driver skill, and for spectators it is one of the best courses anywhere, with the amphitheatre setting allowing for great views of the entire course,” Parratt said.
“We have some quality teams coming and we have compiled a real 'thinker' of a course for competitors.”
Parratt said there would be four or five Superboats - ethanol- fuelled rockets that can generate up to 1000hp - as well as a strong field of Group A - 412 cubic inch V8s, capable of producing up to 630hp - hitting the Tweed Coast circuit.
With acceleration of 0-100km in about two seconds, these craft skim across the shallow channels at breakneck speed in a race against the clock and the course.
Among those who keep coming back for the Cabarita challenge is the Dixon family, from Victorian, with Phil and Louise Dixon in the Unlimited Superboats and children Brooke and brother Shaun in the Group As.
While Brooke is a seasoned campaigner at Round Mountain, Shaun, 19, will be making his debut on the daunting course, and will no doubt cause a few anxious moments in the True Blue camp as he takes to the track.
The Dixons will have a new boat for the Group A race, with the aim of climbing the Australian championship ladder where Brooke is currently sixth.
The class is being led by Wagga Wagga's Slade Stanley.
Gates open at the Round Mountain Raceway just south of Cabarita for today's qualifying rounds from 10am, with racing due to start at 11am.
Tomorrow the gates open at 9am, with racing starting from 10am.