The Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship makes a welcome return to the north-coast of New South Wales and Round Mountain Raceway at Cabarita Beach this Sunday (November 05) for the third round of the season, bringing with it one of the biggest fields in almost a decade.
Two rounds into the new season, patterns are starting to emerge as to how the six round season might play out, and for the Unlimited teams, it’s very much status quo, reigning, and nine-time Australian Champion Phonsy Mullan continuing a ten race winning streak heading to Cabarita, with little sign that anyone has the performance to match the reigning World #1.
New Zealand Champion Rob Coley has come off two frustrating rounds – a stuck throttle and big exit from the track at Temora was followed by fuel starvation issues at Keith, yet despite showing intermittent signs of matching Mullan’s pace, he is very much on the back foot coming into Cabarita, although Round Mountain Raceway is a venue at which he’s seen some success in the past.
For New Zealand’s 400-Class [Group A] World Champion Olli Silverton, he too has endured a less than ideal start to the season, and despite his 2018 World Series credentials, hasn’t yet delivered the form that many expected. That said, the performance of the Australian teams over the ensuing five years has improved dramatically, although to be fair to all concerned, Silverton is new to the 2023 engine regulations for Australia this year, and he’s not competed under lights for a number of seasons, Temora delivering that challenge, Silverton forced to play second-fiddle to reigning AUS#3 Danny Knappick.
Coming into Cabarita though, Silverton is the equal points leader with Jody Ely – the reigning AUS#2 having taken the win last time out at Keith – the New Zealander though is coming back to the scene of his 2018 World Championship win, a venue where he is expected to take the fight back to his rivals.
Like the Unlimited category, reigning LS-Class Champion Bastian Mullan has continued the form that saw him clean sheet the 2022 Championship, and just like his father, he comes back to Cabarita with ten consecutive finals wins under his belt.
Last time out his younger brother got close during the qualifying rounds before Bastian again turned in a stunning final lap to put the result out of question – the chances of a fifth consecutive ‘RIPSHIFT’ 1-2 is high, although their rivals will be doing everything in their power to ensure that doesn’t happen.
The circuit rotation for the third round matches that of round three of the 2021 season, at that stage the big talking point was the accident that all but ended back-to-back titles for reigning Unlimited Superboat Champion Slade Stanley, the all but unbeatable ‘Hazardous’ driver inverting his boat during the finals to pave the way for long-time rival Phonsy Mullan to return to the top step. Mullan duly delivered the win, but it was Stanley who set the pace during the qualifiers and it’s that mark that the Unlimited teams will be looking to break, a stunning 41.108.
There’s little question that reigning Unlimited Champion Phonsy Mullan won’t claim the outright win at Cabarita, the scene of his 2018 World Championship victory, but as the old saying goes – nothing’s ever a sure thing!
That said, you’d be hard pressed to look past another ‘RAMJET’ victory, although he won’t have it easy, as there will be no shortage of teams applying pressure.
New Zealand Champion Rob Coley is likely to be Mullan’s greatest threat for the outright win, especially off the back of two frustrating rounds. He made no secret pre-season that he’d come to Australia to win every round and take the title from his long-time rival. Sadly, he’s 0 for 2 so far with just four rounds to come, another setback and he could find himself battling to finish the season on the podium.
Coley isn’t the only New Zealander likely to pose a threat, fellow Kiwis (although both are now Australian-based), Daryl Hutton and Chris Edmonds both capable of making an impression, so too Australia’s 2018 Champion Scott Krause.
Edmonds is fired up after missing the Keith round due to business commitments, the new ‘Hazardous’ driver looking to try and unlock the form that saw former boat owner Slade Stanley demolish the field back in 2021 ahead of his off track excursion, whilst former team-mate Hutton will be looking to carry on his strong Keith form to try for a return to the top step of the podium.
Don’t discount Tyler Finch either, the ‘Loose Cannon’ driver looking to unlock some more pace from his new ‘Sprintec’ hull and with a similar twin-turbo powerplant to that of Hutton, he could also make his mark on the podium.
And you can never discount the locals, Sam Everingham, Peter Monger, Phil Weinthal and Glenn Roberts, although Roberts is only an honorary local having driven the 3000-kilometre round trip from his Victorian home to support the many Cabarita Club Days over the last decade, so he knows the circuit as intimately as the locally-based drivers.
For Everingham – who is President of the Round Mountain Raceway Club that hosts the round – he could well spring a surprise on his rivals, especially at the wheel of the mighty ‘Excalibur’, a boat with its own history at the Cabarita venue, although if history tells us anything, it’s that the local organiser usually suffers a less than perfect race weekend at their home event – for Everingham’s sake we hope he can shake that mantra.
For the Cabarita locals, Peter Monger is somewhat of an institution at his home track, but the ‘Mongrel’ has been away from the driving seat for a few seasons working on an impressive new Unlimited project, which after ongoing setbacks that have cost him more than a year [or two], is finally due to launch this weekend, and there is much anticipation around its debut.
400-CLASS (International Group A)
Two rounds in the 400-Class has delivered just what we were hoping for this season.. Unpredictability..! With the addition of reigning World Champion Ollie Silverton, the return of 2021 Champion Justin Roylance, new engine regulations and a number of new hulls, all the ingredients for a memorable season were there, and so far the results have been interesting.
Considered an outside chance by a number of his rivals pre-season, reigning AUS#3 Danny Knappick delivered a mighty blow during the opening round at Temora to claim his maiden win in the sport, defeating the reigning World Champion in the process.
Illness kept Knappick well below par at Keith, with perpetual bridesmaid Jody Ely claiming a dominant round win over Silverton in the final off the back of a frustrating debut run with his all new ‘PULSE’ hull at Temora.
And what of the reigning Australian #1…!? Sadly, Brendan Doyle has not enjoyed the best start to the 2023 season, in fact, it likely couldn’t have started much worse, although despite two DNFs in his primary ride, he has shown stunning pace and still sits within reach of retaining his title coming into Cabarita where you can expect he will push with everything he has to return to the top step of the podium.
Likewise Ollie Silverton who likely has been surprised by the performance of the Australian teams after the harsh lessons he dished out to them during the Australian-based 2018 World Series, an event which saw Silverton in a completely different postcode to his rivals, such was his dominance of the two round series.
To be fair to the reigning NZ#1, he has had to learn some new circuits (Temora), race under lights (Temora), which the New Zealand teams no longer do, and come to terms with a new engine package that delivers a very different performance AND driving style to that which he’s used to at home. That said, he’s also admitted that the increased performance of the Aussie-spec engine has reignited his passion for the sport, and to have claimed two runner-up finishes so far this season is likely not where he wants to be, so like Doyle, he will have something to prove this weekend..
And whilst Jody Ely comes off victory at Keith to share the Championship points lead with Silverton, he comes into Cabarita off two wins at the venue last season, in fact the ‘Melton’ [Victoria] crew (which also includes Phonsy and Bastian Mullan) return to Cabarita having locked out all three class wins in both events last year – and they’re pushing to make it a three-peat on Sunday!
For Justin Roylance, the former Champion returns to Cabarita with some history to resolve, his last visit ending in less than ideal circumstances. Leading the field early during qualifying, the former drag racer clipped an island and inverted the boat, putting himself out for the weekend. Sadly he repeated the performance during the following round in Keith, bringing his season to an early close, but now installed behind the wheel of a new ‘PULSE’ hull, he’s exorcised his demons last time out at Keith and will be looking to do the same at Cabarita this weekend.
Hugh Gilchrist is another with a new ‘PULSE’ hull at his disposal, the Australian Moulding & Door Company boss looking to take the experience he gained at Keith another step further as he pushes to become a regular podium challenger in the seasons ahead, whilst for Simon Doyle, he will be hoping to enjoy a round without someone jumping in to ‘B’ drive his boat, Jody Ely and his brother Brendan calling in favours during the opening two rounds.
The LS-Class just continues to impress and round three will provide another great chapter in what has been a stunning success story for the sport, 17 entries, amongst them a number of teams with some solid experience at Cabarita.
Reigning Champion Bastian Mullan leads the charge, although he will need to keep a keen eye on his younger brother Nate who has been a standout performer over the last 12-months, and off the back of four consecutive 1-2 finishes, he will be looking to claim his maiden win in the sport sooner rather than later.
2019 Champion Kyle Elphinstone found some additional performance during the off-season, but hasn’t managed to extract the best from the boat since the opening round, and like Nate Mullan, he would like nothing more than to stand on the top step at Cabarita.
For Matt Malthouse, the South Australian veteran has endured a hectic couple of months. The season started with a podium finish under lights at Temora where he outperformed long time rival Kyle Elphinstone and son Mitch, before managing the Keith round and finding himself suffering a dramatic off in front of his home fans, an off which left the team with a mountain of work to do in the ensuing three weeks. To make his life more complicated, the ‘Nood Nutz’ team have been camped at Lake Centenary in Temora for much of the last week installing a new safety fence ahead of the sports return there in February.
Where that will put the team this weekend is anyone’s guess, but with son Mitch hauling the very second hand looking orange boat onto the podium at Keith despite his father’s incident, the team showed that they weren’t going to give up easily, and it could be that typical Aussie grit that drives them that extra step further on Sunday.
Throw in New Zealander Matt Hareb, now comfortable in his own boat after a maiden Australian outing at Keith, the exciting Tyler O’Day, Hervey Bay’s Lawrie Howlett, larrikans Mike Hessell and Luke Walters and the emerging Jade Atchison and you have the perfect ingredients for a round to remember, but they’re not alone, the entry list is a lot longer than that!
Disturbed Racing’s Darren Pollard is making a strong return to the sport after suffering health issues last season, and he will be looking to step things up a gear this weekend, as will Lance Edmonds who is looking to make an assault on the top half of the field, whilst for Jodie Cottam, she won’t be sharing the driving duties of ‘Steady Eddie’ this weekend with partner Adam Sulcs, rather driving alone, and on home turf, looking to make her own impression.
Rodney Norton too will be back after missing Keith, and with his new boat and engine combination, will be looking for a solid result on home turf, whilst Karen Howlett too will be searching for some form on a circuit where she made her debut, a bit over 12 months ago.
As for Ron O’Day, he’s suffered mixed fortunes with the Cabarita venue in past years, but the veteran is certainly not deterred, and alongside son Tyler, will surely be a focal point for the fans during the qualifying rounds, but at the same time, just as capable of surprising some of the newer teams in the sport.
The popular Junior category for eight to 16 year-olds returns to Cabarita with former Champion Koby Bourke leading the charge. Bourke returned to the top step of the podium at Keith after claiming the win over debutante Harry Jay, the 12-year old making his debut in the sport, although competing on the ‘starter’ key, in contrast to Bourke on the ‘open’ key (the starter key cutting the performance by around 30-40%).
For Jay, the chance to compete on the Saturday in the Club Day event may well see him cleared to race in the Australian Championship round on the ‘open’ key, potentially delivering a head-to-head fight with the 2021 Champion, although regardless of whether that happens, the two drivers will no doubt turn on a show for the fans.
Traditionally a two-day event at Cabarita, the Round Mountain Raceway Club has elected to run a single-day event this time around to reduce operational costs, instead running a ‘closed’ (not open to the public) Club Day on the Saturday, providing many teams a chance to prepare for Sunday’s Australian Championship round. Interestingly, the three reigning Australian Champions have elected not to compete on the Saturday, potentially delivering an opportunity to their rivals.
For those that can’t be at Round Mountian Raceway, action from Sunday (05 November) will be streamed LIVE on Facebook and YouTube (the link will be posted on www.facebook.com/V8Superboats) whilst a post-produced highlights package will be released on 7mate, and then 7+ in the weeks following (the opening program from the 2023/24 season is scheduled for first release on Monday, 06 November).
Tickets are available at the gate or via; https://bit.ly/3QmjRsB
Rnd#3 2023/24 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship
Round Mountain Raceway, Cabarita Beach, NSW
05 November, 2023
1. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stewart (RAMJET)
08. Chris Edmonds/Ange Edmonds (Hazardous)
28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants)
32. Tyler Finch/Jarrod Ballard (Loose Cannon)
37. Scott Krause/James Parsons (KAM Racing)
41. Sam Everingham/Zoe Loupatatzis (Excalibur)
96A. Peter Monger/Joel Page (Mongrel)
96B. Phil Weinthal (Mongrel)
111[NZ]. Rob Coley/Cody Munro (Poison Ivy)
888. Glenn Roberts/Jim Beaman (Blown Budget)
400-CLASS (GROUP A)
1. Brendan Doyle/Holly Small (PULSE)
2. Jody Ely/Brooke Tanner (Rampage)
31[NZ]. Ollie Silverton/Jess Sit (PSP Racing)
45. Danny Knappick/Cliff Bamford (Tuff N Up)
67. Justin Roylance/Tracey Little (Team Outlaw)
99. Simon Doyle/Cael White (The Mistress)
269. Noel Verning/Nick Smith (Quiet Time)
853. Hugh Gilchrist/Narelle Pellow-Djukic (MATTRIX)
1A. Bastian Mullan/Tahleah Mullan (RIPSHIFT)
1B. Nate Mullan/Lisa Dellar (RIPSHIFT)
14A. Lawrie Howlett/Karen Howlett (Drop Bear)
14B. Karen Howlett/Lawrie Howlett (Drop Bear)
22[NZ]. Matthew Hareb/Matthew Nairn (Moist Az)
29A. Ron O’Day/Paris O’Day (Agro-Vation)
29B. Tyler O’Day/Todd McDowell (Agro-Vation)
69A. Matt Malthouse/Leighton Collins (Nood Nutz Racing)
69B. Mitch Malthouse/Harrison Collins (Nood Nutz Racing)
77. Darren Pollard/Steve Muhvich (Disturbed Racing)
199. Jodie Cottam/Kaine Henman (Steady Eddie)
212. Lance Edmonds/Peter Sendy (Solid Gold)
219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing)
267. Rodney Norton/Pam Moran (Hot Shot)
300. Luke Walters/Juzzi Calvert (The Spartan)
370. Mike Hessell/Shaun White (Borrowed Time)
777. Jade Atchison/Erin Kearney (Twisted)
97A. Koby Bourke (Lil Psycho)
97B. Harry Jay (Lil Psycho)
RACE SCHEDULE (AEDT)
RND#3 – Sunday, 05 November;
9:15am – practice laps commence
10:20am – Qualifying #1 (65-minutes)
11:25am – Qualifying #2 (65-minutes)
12:30pm – Qualifying #3 (65-minutes)
1:35pm – lunch break (30-minutes)
2:05pm – Qualifying #4 (65-minutes)
3:10pm – Junior Development Final
3:20pm – Top 12 Final (LS-Class/400-Class/Unlimited)
4:05pm – Top 6 Final (LS-Class/400-Class/Unlimited)
4:40pm – FINAL (LS-Class/400-Class/Unlimited)
5:00pm – Racing Concludes
History; V8 Superboats and Cabarita
Rnd#2 2022 Australian V8 Superboats Championship presented by Penrite
Tweed Valley Jet Sprint Club, Cabarita Beach, NSW
27-28 August, 2022
TOP 3 FINAL
1. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 41.082
2. 111. Rob Coley/Scott Munro (Poison Ivy) – 41.807
3. 28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants) – 43.524
400-Class (Group A)
1. 33. Jody Ely/Olivia Parnis (Rampage) – 45.815
2. 4. Brendan Doyle/Rory Doyle (PULSE) – 46.761
3. 45. Danny Knappick/Darren Tickell (Tuff’n Up) – 49.654
1. 1A. Bastian Mullan/Tahleah James (RIPSHIFT) – 43.746
2. 219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing) – 44.293
3. 69. Matt Malthouse/Leighton Collins (Nood Nutz) – 45.364
1. 97A. Koby Bourke (Lil Pyscho) – 51.503
2. 97B. Connor Smith (Lil Pyscho) – 58.232
* different circuit rotation to other classes
Rnd#1 20221 Australian V8 Superboats Championship presented by Penrite
23-24 July, 2022
TOP 3 FINAL
1. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 40.253
2. 37. Scott Krause/Rachel Parsons (KAOS) – 44.300
3. 888. Glenn Roberts/Tia McGifford (Blown Budget) – 49.831
400-Class (Group A)
1. 33. Jody Ely/Angel Brennan (Rampage) – 44.653
2. 67. Justin Roylance/Michelle Hodge (Outlaw67) – 44.864
3. 4. Brendan Doyle/Rory Doyle (PULSE) – 47.345
1. 1A. Bastian Mullan/Tahleah James (RIPSHIFT) – 43.962
2. 69. Matt Malthouse/Leighton Collins (Nood Nutz) – 45.735
3. 219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing) – 45.756
1. 97A. Koby Bourke (Lil Pyscho) – 52.428
2. 97B. Connor Smith (Lil Pyscho) – 60.076
* different circuit rotation to other classes
Rnd#4 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboat Championships
26 February, 2022 (event cancelled after Q3 [400/Unlimited] and T12 [LS-Class])
TOP 3 FINAL
Unlimited Superboat [fastest after Q3]
1. 1. Slade Stanley/Vanessa Stanley (Hazardous) – 49.535
2. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 49.912
3. 28A. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants) – 51.208
400-Class (Group A) [fastest after Q3]
1. 67. Justin Roylance/Michelle Hodge (Outlaw67) – 54.143
2. 33. Jody Ely/Angel Brennan (Rampage) – 56.099
3. 4. Tremayne Jukes/Erin Thomas (PULSE) – 56.100
LS-Class [fastest after T12 Final]
1. 219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing) – 55.738
2. 24A. Bastian Mullan/Kelsie Gill (RIPSHIFT) – 55.780
3. 512. Paul Hill/Alex Singleton (Slicer) – 1:01.019
Junior Development [fastest after T12 Final]
1. 97. Koby Bourke (Lil Pyscho) – 48.081
Rnd#3 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboat Championships
19-20 June, 2021
TOP 3 FINAL
1. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 43.286
2. 28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants) – 43.855
3. 37. Scott Krause/Rachel Parsons (KAOS) – 44.408
400-Class (Group A)
1. 33. Jody Ely/Angel Brennan (Rampage) – 45.018
2. 67. Justin Roylance/Tracey Little (Outlaw67) – 45.969
3. 53. Brett Thornton/Lyn Thornton (Still Obsessed) – 46.785
1. 24A. Bastian Mullan/Joel Page (RIPSHIFT) – 45.234
2. 69A. Matt Malthouse/Harrison Collins (NoodNutz Racing) – 46.946
3. 512. Paul Hill/Alex Singleton (Slicer) – ww
1. 97. Koby Bourke (Lil Pyscho) – ww
2023/24 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship – Series Points
Unlimited Superboat (after round two of six)
1. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) – 72-points, 2. Scott Krause (KAOS) – 63, 2. Daryl Hutton (Victorian American Imports) – 63, 4. Tyler Finch (Loose Cannon) – 52, 5. Glenn Roberts (Blown Budget) – 48, 5. Rob Coley (Poison Ivy) – 48, 7. Chris Edmonds (Hazardous) – 26, 8. Sam Everingham (Excalibur) – 24
400-Class (Group A) (after round two of six)
1. Ollie Silverton (PSP Racing) – 63-points, 1. Jody Ely (Rampage) – 63, 3. Danny Knappick (Tuff’n’Up) – 64, 4. Brendan Doyle (The Girlfriend) – 54, 5. Noel Verning (Quiet Time) – 52, 6. Simon Doyle (The Mistress) – 48, 6. Hugh Gilchrist (Mattrix) – 48, 8. Justin Roylance (The Outlaw) 20, 8. Andrew Medlicott (Gone Nutz) – 20
LS-Class (after round two of six)
1. Bastian Mullan (Ripshift) – 72-points, 2. Nate Mullan (Ripshift) – 66, 3. Kyle Elphinstone (Blackout Racing) – 56, 3. Mitch Malthouse (NoodNutz Racing) – 56, 5. Matt Hareb (No Limits) – 46, 5. Matt Malthouse (NoodNutz Racing) – 46, 7. Luke Walters (Borrowed Time) – 38, 8. Jade Atchison (Twisted) – 36, 9. Mike Hessell (Borrowed Time) – 34, 10. Lance Edmonds (Solid Gold) – 30, 11. Lawrie Howlett (Drop Bear) – 24, 12. Adam Sulcs (Steady Eddie) – 20, 12. Jodie Cottam (Steady Eddie) – 20, 14. Tyler O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 18, 15. Darren Pollard (Disturbed) – 16, 16. Rodney Norton (Crackers) – 6, 17. Ron O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 4, 18. James Machan (Twisted) – 0, 18. Karen Howlett (Drop Bear) – 0
Junior Development (after round one of five)
1. Koby Bourke (Lil Psycho) – 36-points, 2. Harry Jay (Lil Psycho) – 0-points
2023/24 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship
Rnd#1 – Temora, NSW – 09 September, 2023
Rnd#2 – Keith, SA – 14 October, 2023
Rnd#3 – Tweed Coast, NSW – 05 November, 2023
Rnd#4 – Temora, NSW – 03 February, 2024 (Colin Parish Memorial)
Rnd#5 – Griffith, NSW – 24 February, 2024
Rnd#6 [FINAL] – Keith, SA – 23 March, 2024
Founded in Melbourne in 1926 by – then – 16-year old Les Mecoles, Penrite Oil utilised high-quality lubricants from Pennsylvania [USA] base stocks, hence the name ‘Pen’ from the base stock and ‘rite’ for the right oil. In 1979, due to ill health, Les sold the company to John and Margaret Dymond.
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7mate + 7plus
For the 2023/24 season, the Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship is again aired free-to-air on 7mate, and ‘on-demand’ on affiliate 7plus providing fantastic access to the sport not just in Australia, but through networks all over the world, each program going to more than 1-billion homes in every corner of the world.
For more information on the Australian V8 Superboat Championships, please visit http://www.v8superboats.com.au