In stark contrast to the washed out round at Cabarita just four weeks prior, Spitwater Arena at Keith in regional South Australia delivered perfect conditions for the final round of what had been a challenging year of competition. Coming into the event both the Unlimited Superboat and LS-Class titles were up for grabs, Justin Roylance having done enough to decide the 400-Class title after his third win of the year at Cabarita, although title rival Jody Ely was determined to close out the season with another win – sadly, he was one of the drivers to suffer setbacks on a day that claimed a number of victims, some of those losing ground in the championship race as a result.
After a season playing second fiddle to reigning Unlimited Superboat champion Slade Stanley, reigning world title holder Phonsy Mullan was able to close the gap to Stanley ahead of the finals, mere hundredths separating the pair as they fired up for the Top 12, fate though kept us from the likelihood of a head-to-head battle in the final with Stanley suffering an electrical issue in the first elimination final to put him out of the round. In the end it was all down to Mullan, the experienced Victorian claimed his second win of the year to claim his seventh Unlimited Superboat crown, winning the championship on adjusted points, 138 to 136.
The RAMJET Racing team made it a double celebration despite the best efforts of West Australian star Daniel Salter, Bastian Mullan claiming both the outright win and his maiden LS-Class title as championship rival Matt Malthouse suffered issues during the day, whilst reigning champion Kyle Elphinstone was forced to settle for third [in the final], in the process moving to second in the points after a tough start to the season.
After the setbacks of Cabarita, the big question everyone was asking was just how much Phonsy Mullan had closed down Slade Stanley’s early season advantage, the ‘Hazardous’ driver at times as much as three seconds a lap faster than the rest of the field.. The answer came in the final qualifier ahead of the elimination finals, Slade Stanley – 41.648, Phonsy Mullan – 41.714, the difference, just 66 one thousandths of a second..
Behind them a terrific battle was ensuing between former champions Daryl Hutton and Scott Krause, and the returning Tyler Finch who was enjoying his maiden laps of the Keith venue, the trio separated by less than a second heading into the finals.
Former Keith winner Mick Carroll was back in action too, the ‘Excalibur’ pilot showing that despite 12 months away from the sport that he’d lost nothing in the pace department, the South Australian carding a best of 45.660 in the opening qualifier to be fourth before a medical emergency unfolded in the pits, the multiple race winner taken to hospital after becoming unwell at the track, where it was revealed he’d suffered a mild heart attack. He was transferred to Adelaide where he underwent surgery and was recovering post op disappointed to have not had a chance to be in a fight for the podium..
After making his Unlimited Superboat debut at Cabarita last time out, expat New Zealander Chris Edmonds made what many felt to be an unusual decision ahead of the Keith round, the former World#2 (400-Class) calling past Mildura to take delivery of Andrew Page’s ‘Kamikazi’, Page calling time on his racing to travel and enjoy life, whilst for Edmonds, he admitted he wanted something to inject some fun into his racing… He didn’t disappoint.
You couldn’t have blamed a bookmaker if he’s started taking bets about when and where Edmonds would launch his new boat out of the track, his first laps with 1800-horsepower under his right foot were nothing short of captivating, fans and competitors alike in disbelief as Edmonds man-handled the renamed ‘Yippee Ki-Yay’ around the Keith circuit, spending as much time off the circuit as he did in the air!
In the end though, he completed every lap he contested (as well as a ‘Ride of your Life’ for a lucky passenger) without throwing the boat out of the track permanently, his wide eyes after just two qualifying sessions indicating that it was as much a thrill for the driver as it was for the fans!
“I’ve never had so much fun in my life, greatest thing I’ve ever bought, ever!” Edmonds beamed. “It goes a little bit quick for me, and I’m getting the knack of it, but I tell you what, when you come into a turn and you’re in a bit of trouble you just put it where you want to put it and stand on it.. there’s grass and mud, I can see it from where I’m sitting, and it just takes off, it just goes where I need it to go.”
Whilst Edmonds was thrilling the fans, across the paddock Glenn ‘Spider’ Roberts was lamenting a lack of track time at Cabarita, the ‘Blown Budget’ team suffering from fuel and electrical issues, a new fuel pump resolving one problem, but forcing another, before the team was forced to park the boat after electrical issues left them without enough charge to fire the motor successfully on the ramp for the finals.
Despite that fact he was still all smiles and already planning bigger things ahead of the start of the 2022 season.
With Slade Stanley leading the field into the first elimination final as top qualifier, the ‘Hazardous’ boat was first to lay down a time, but mere seconds into his run the engine flamed out, the immaculate blue ‘Stinger’ coming to a stop on the bank, his championship now well and truly in the hands of arch-rival Phonsy Mullan.
“Not the start to eliminations we wanted,” Stanley lamented. “We went down the straight and the engine just cut out, looks like a loose earth wire or something has gone amiss, so that’s all she wrote.. timing, beautiful as usual..!”
With Stanley eliminated, that opened the door again for Phonsy Mullan, the seven-time champion electing to conserve ahead of the final three, dropping his pace back to a more conservative level to set the top time in both the Top 12 and Top 6 elimination events to ensure he had his eighth title in the bag before stepping up the pace in the final to lay down a 42.790 to claim win number two for the year and put the championship result well out of question.
Heading into the final he faced both two-time champion Daryl Hutton and the returning Tyler Finch, Hutton’s consistency giving him second, Finch laying down another consistent run to be third, the second-generation driver having taken advantage of a rare navigational error by 2018 co-champion [with Mullan] Scott Krause, Krause having looked at one point like a threat for the runner-up position after taking the fight to Hutton, sadly, it wasn’t to be.
He wasn’t the only one to make a navigational error in the second final, Chris Edmonds making his one error of the weekend, although to be honest, with as much work as he had to do behind the wheel of his new boat, it was a miracle he completed the weekend in one piece, much less fifth overall for the round, the manic smile even wider by the close of the day, a standing ovation from the fans highlighting just how much of an impression he’d made.
400-CLASS (GROUP A)
Despite the Championship being wrapped up after Justin Roylance’s third win of the year at Cabarita last time out, there was every chance that Jody Ely would return serve at Keith after falling agonisingly short of victory in the opening round 12 months prior, but whilst Ely came out the gate swinging in practice, sadly for the Victorian it was all downhill from there after an untraceable electrical issue sidelined him ahead of the elimination finals.
In a true show of comradeship, Roylance offered Ely a chance to ‘B’ drive the ‘Outlaw 67’ machine to keep his chances of winning alive, Ely though declining in a hope the team could trace his problem. Sadly they were unable to find it, leaving him – much like Unlimited contender Slade Stanley – to watch the finals unfold from the bank.
Ely may have missed a chance to take one final swing at Roylance to close out the season, but the points leader wasn’t without a challenger, former Keith Unlimited winner Tremayne Jukes once again taking the helm of the ‘PULSE’ boat, the Victorian pushing Roylance all the way into the final three after claiming the fastest time in the final qualifier, although despite all but matching his best in his final run, Roylance dug deep to stop the clock at a 45.925 to take the round win.
Jukes ultimately fell half a second shy, with four-time AUS#1 Mark Garlick making a welcome return to the podium with ‘Apache’ regular Hugh Gilchrist alongside, the pair withstanding a late push from Brendan Doyle to claim third with his quickest time of the day, although that was still three seconds shy of Roylance, such has been the pace at the front of 400-Class this season.
In fact Brendan Doyle closed out his first full season having maintained a place in the top three right up until the second elimination final where a navigational error left the door open for Garlo to record one of his now infamous ‘Bradburys’..
The battle for fifth between Darrin Kesper (Let’s Boogie) and Danny Knappick (Tuff n Up) was also a highlight, the pair swapping positions through to the final six, Knappick ultimately prevailing with a best of 53.683 to Kesper’s 55.108.
For Roylance who claimed his sixth win from the last seven races (going back to the final round of the 2019 season), he could finally relax having prevailed across three years..
“We didn’t know how we were going to go today, we weren’t feeling the best – we probably let the cat out of the bag a little bit early, we put a hot tune in it straight away and we couldn’t better it,” he admitted. “But that last lap, I don’t know whether it was the weather or good luck, but we got around there and we broke that 46 second barrier.”
For Jody Ely it was a tough end to a long season, a season where he showed he is right back as a contender like he had been in season 2018.. “I thought we were going through the fence on that last run,” Ely explained. “We don’t know what’s going on, it keeps shutting off. We obviously have an electrical gremlin which we can’t find. The boat’s got the pace, it just doesn’t have the guts to keep going, but it is what it is.”
With a title on the line, the ‘RIPSHIFT’ team of LS-Class points leader Bastian Mullan and brother Nate made a team decision to concentrate on securing Bastian his maiden title, forcing younger brother Nate to follow proceedings from the bank, although with a returning Matt Malthouse, a resurgent Kyle Elphinstone and West Australian charger Daniel Salter all on the entry list, there was no guarantee Bastian was going to have an easy day of it.
Immediately the experienced Salter made his impression, settling into the top spot on the timesheets in all four qualifying sessions, Mullan meanwhile taking time to dial himself in with a wrong way in his first qualifier, before sitting out the fourth to conserve.
Behind them the battle for a place in the final three ensued between Malthouse and reigning champion Elphinstone, in the end, electrical gremlins forced Malthouse to actually jump behind the wheel of the ‘Blackout Racing’ entry whilst the ‘Nood Nutz’ team continued to search for the issue that was plaguing the orange boat. They ultimately discovered the problem, but whilst Malthouse returned to his own machine to carry on into the finals, a rulebook issue saw the local driver sidelined having swapped boats and then back again. A technicality, but a rule nonetheless, a frustrated Malthouse forced to watch from the sidelines, the result seeing him drop to third in the title race after the final tally of points was calculated from the event.
That saw Salter, Mullan and Elphinstone comfortably through the opening elimination final, then into the top six as behind them the fight for a place in the second final intensified.
Sadly Matt Riley was to join Malthouse on the sidelines, an engine detonation eliminating him after the second qualifier, although he was quick to explain that the ‘Toe Cutter’ team were already underway with a new LS powerplant for the 2022 season.
By the second final Paul Hill was starting to make an impression in the fight for the final step of the podium, especially as the top three would become the top four thanks to the fact that Salter was not entered in the championship points race, so regardless of his finishing position, he would not take points away from the contenders.
Going into the second final, a fantastic fight was brewing between Jim Beaman, Tyler O’Day (who along with father Ron had made the move from 400-Class to LS) and Rob Johnston, with both Ron O’Day and Mike Hessell shadowing them in case any one of them made an error. In the end Beaman got the better of the trio to lead them into the top six, where he grabbed a fifth placed finish (fourth in the overall points), his best of the season, with Johnston sixth (fifth in points), Tyler O’Day failing to finish the final rotation, although he grabbed sixth in points overall for the event.
Heading into the final, Bastian Mullan had effectively wrapped up his maiden title, his father Phonsy promoting a cool head in the battle for the top spot, but the younger Mullan knew that if he wanted to be champion, he’d have to find something extra to take to Salter in the final, so he came out all guns blazing, laying down an impressive 46.179 to Salter’s 46.193 to claim his third win of the year, and with it, his maiden title in V8 Superboats.
Behind the pair, Kyle Elphinstone consolidated his position to claim third for the day (and second in points) to move past Matt Malthouse in the overall championship race, with Paul Hill making it three podium finishes from three starts to close out his season in style.
For Bastian Mullan, who had grown in maturity across the year, the chance to join his father as a V8 Superboat Champion was a dream come true.
“I just wanted to go out and win and beat Daniel [Salter], but Dad [Phonsy] was more focussed on the championship and championship points,” Bastian explained. “I just want to beat the best, and that was my focus – I didn’t feel like I could be the Australian Champion if I couldn’t beat another person that races in Australia.”
As he had done all year, Koby Bourke’s battle at Keith might have been against the clock, but he set himself a series of goals across the weekend to be faster with each session, the 13-year old achieving what he’d set out to achieve, his last run of the day (final) his quickest by six tenths of a second, in the end he’d found almost 5.5-seconds across the day on his way to claiming the very first Australian V8 Superboats Junior Development Championship.
For the Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championships the teams go into off-season preparations ahead of the first official round of the 2022 season on July 23-24 at the Tweed Valley Jet Sprint Club’s Cabarita Beach facility.
For fans of the Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship, they can catch all the action on Fox Sports Australia and Kayo Sports (check local guides for dates and times). We will also post updates on social media channels once the on-air dates have been released.
Rnd#5 [FINAL] 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship
Spitwater Arena, Keith, South Australia
26 March, 2022
TOP 3 FINAL
1. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 42.790
2. 28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants) – 44.541
3. 32. Tyler Finch/Jarrod Ballard (Loose Cannon) – 45.810
400-Class (Group A)
1. 67. Justin Roylance/Tracey Little (Outlaw67) – 45.925
2. 4. Tremayne Jukes/Kimberley Holmes (PULSE) – 46.434
3. 95. Mark Garlick/Hugh Gilchrist (Grumpy On Edge) – 48.914
1. 24. Bastian Mullan/Ellen Arnold (RIPSHIFT) – 46.179
2. 26. Daniel Salter/Mitchell Hade (The Hustler) – 46.193#
3. 219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing) – 47.707
4. 512. Paul Hill/Alex Singleton (Slicer) – 50.027
1. 97. Koby Bourke (Lil Pyscho) – 42.900*
* different circuit rotation to other classes
TOP 6 FINAL
1. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 43.773
2. 28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants) – 44.302
3. 32. Tyler Finch/Jarrod Ballard (Loose Cannon) – 47.093
4. 37. Scott Krause/James Parsons (KAOS) – 58.193
5. 169. Chris Edmonds/Jamie Maroney (Yippee Ki-Yay) – ww
400-Class (Group A)
1. 67. Justin Roylance/Tracey Little (Outlaw67) – 45.646
2. 4. Tremayne Jukes/Kimberley Holmes (PULSE) – 47.177
3. 95. Mark Garlick/Hugh Gilchrist (Grumpy On Edge) – 49.160
4. 45. Danny Knappick/Darren Tickell (Tuff N Up) – 53.683
5. 43. Darrin Kesper/Kate Kesper (Let’s Boogie) – 55.108
6. 214. Brendan Doyle/Rory Doyle (The Girlfriend) – 60.586
1. 26. Daniel Salter/Mitchell Hade (The Hustler) – 46.379#
2. 24. Bastian Mullan/Ellen Arnold (RIPSHIFT) – 46.883
3. 219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing) – 48.318
4. 512. Paul Hill/Alex Singleton (Slicer) – 49.831
5. 46. Jim Beaman/Ella Simpson (JB Racing) – 52.063
6. 114. Rob Johnston/Grant Dodd (Almost There) – 53.329
7. 29B. Tyler O’Day/Xavier Jackson (Agro-Vation) – DNF
TOP 12 FINAL
1. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 44.034
2. 28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants) – 44.461
3. 37. Scott Krause/James Parsons (KAOS) – 45.314
4. 169. Chris Edmonds/Jamie Maroney (Yippee Ki-Yay) – 50.087
5. 32. Tyler Finch/Jarrod Ballard (LooseCannon) – 58.988
6. 1. Slade Stanley/Vanessa Stanley (Hazardous) – DNF
7. 28B. Glenn Roberts/Tia McGifford (Phoenix Lubricants) – DNS
400-Class (Group A)
1. 67. Justin Roylance/Tracey Little (Outlaw67) – 46.614
2. 4. Tremayne Jukes/Kimberley Holmes (PULSE) – 47.132
3. 214. Brendan Doyle/Rory Doyle (The Girlfriend) – 48.394
4. 95. Mark Garlick/Hugh Gilchrist (Grumpy On Edge) – 49.096
5. 43. Darrin Kesper/Kate Kesper (Let’s Boogie) – 54.866
6. 45. Danny Knappick/Darren Tickell (Tuff N Up) – 61.682
7. 33. Jody Ely/Greg Blaz (Rampage) – DNF
1. 26. Daniel Salter/Mitchell Hade (The Hustler) – 46.732#
2. 24. Bastian Mullan/Ellen Arnold (RIPSHIFT) – 47.196
3. 219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing) – 48.232
4. 69A. Matt Malthouse/Leighton Collins (NoodNutz Racing) – 49.534*
5. 512. Paul Hill/Alex Singleton (Slicer) – 49.978
6. 46. Jim Beaman/Ella Simpson (JB Racing) – 52.375
7. 114. Rob Johnston/Grant Dodd (Almost There) – 53.276
8. 29B. Tyler O’Day/Xavier Jackson (Agro-Vation) – 53.673
9. 29A. Ron O’Day/Paris O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 55.635
10. 370. Mike Hessell/Daniel Roberts (Borrowed Time) – DNF
11. 82. Matt Riley/Andrew White (Toe Cutter) – DNS
# not competing for championship points
* time disallowed post run
2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboat Championships – Series Points
Unlimited Superboat (after round five of five)
1. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) – 138-points, 2. Slade Stanley (Hazardous) – 136, 3. Daryl Hutton (Phoenix Lubricants) – 120, 4. Scott Krause (KAOS) – 118, 5. Glenn Roberts (Blown Budget) – 88, 6. Ben Hathaway (NoodNutz Racing) – 80, 7. Mitch Roylance (BlackJack) – 72, 8. Chris Edmonds (Yippee Ki-Yay) – 52, 9. Mick Carroll (Excalibur) – 50, 10. Tyler Finch (Loose Cannon) – 30, 11. Daniel de Voigt (DEVO Racing) – 24, 12. Sam Everingham (Thirsty Merc) – 20, 13. Andrew Page (Kamakazi) – 16, 14. Adam Fairbairn (A.C.E.) – 0
400-Class (Group A) (after round five of five)
1. Justin Roylance (Outlaw67) – 144-points, 2. Jody Ely (Rampage) – 135, 3. Mark Garlick (Grumpy) – 112, 4. Brendan Doyle (The Girlfriend) – 104, 5. Greg Harriman (Apache) – 98, 6. Danny Knappick (Tuff N Up) – 92, 7. Hugh Gilchrist (Apache) – 84, 8. Tremayne Jukes (PULSE) – 63, 9. Brett Thornton (Still Obsessed) – 58, 10. Darrin Kesper (44), 11. Ron O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 26, 12. Daniel James (The Girlfriend) – 22, 12. Daniel Warburton (Team Attitude) – 22, 14. Tyler O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 20
LS-Class (after round five of five)
1. Bastian Mullan (Ripshift) – 141-points, 2. Kyle Elphinstone (Blackout Racing) – 121, 3. Matt Malthouse (NoodNutz Racing) – 120, 4. Nate Mullan (Ripshift) – 107, 5. Jim Beaman (JB Racing) – 104, 6. Paul Hill (Slicer) – 90, 7. Chris Edmonds (Solid Gold) – 76, 8. Matt Riley (Toe Cutter) – 72, 9. Mike Hessell (Borrowed Time) – 60, 10. Rob Johnston (Almost There) – 48, 11. Robert Westerink (The Contractor) – 42, 12. Nick Druery (Hazzmat) – 40, 13. Mitch Curtis (Smoke & Mirror) – 38, 14. Dwayne Mezzadri (Unleashed) – 34, 15. Bill Biggin (JB Racing) – 30, 16. Darren Pollard (Toe Cutter) – 28, 17. Tyler O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 24, 18. Ron O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 22
Junior Development (after round five of five)
1. Koby Bourke (Lil Psycho) – 144-points
2022 Australian V8 Superboat Championships
Rnd#1 – Tweed Coast, NSW – 23-24 July, 2022
Rnd#2 – Tweed Coast, NSW – 27-28 August, 2022
Rnd#3 – Keith, SA – 8 October, 2022
Rnd#4 – Temora, NSW – 5 November, 2022 (Colin Parish Memorial)
Rnd#5 – Temora, NSW – 3 December, 2022
Rnd#6 – Griffith, NSW – 11 February, 2023
Rnd#7 [FINAL] – Keith, SA – 25 March, 2023
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For more information on the Australian V8 Superboat Championships, please visit https://www.v8superboats.com.au