Yes, you read that right, Keith will host not only the opening round of the 2021 season, but exactly 12-months on, the final round of the 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboat Championships, thanks to a lengthy pandemic hangover that brought racing to a standstill from the middle of last year, the sport’s ruling body electing to extend the season into early 2022, although that wasn’t without its own challenges.
Less than a month ago racing resumed at Cabarita Beach on the north coast of New South Wales, but whilst scheduled to host back-to-back rounds on the one weekend, unseasonal torrential rain impacted the weekend, wiping out half a day on Saturday, whilst Sunday saw evacuation from the region as floodwaters began to rise.
That sadly saw the championship brought back to just five rounds to conclude what has been a challenging period across the last two years, Keith becoming the fifth and final event of the 2021 season ahead of a return to racing in late July to kick off the 2022 program.
Despite the ongoing impact of a pandemic and the effects of the flooding rains across the east coast of Australia, a strong field of entries will make the journey to ‘Spitwater Arena’, where the various class battles will resume to settle the final places in the 2021 championship.
Leading the charge will be 2019 Unlimited champion Slade Stanley who is looking to retain his title as AUS#1, the former 400-Class world title holder though will have his hands full with some seriously tough competition expected at Keith led by reigning world champion Phonsy Mullan.
Since winning his world title in late 2018, Mullan has struggled to find form to cope with Stanley’s impressive speed, trialling a number of different packages before landing in the ‘PULSE Race Boats’ camp of reigning 400-Class world#3 Daniel James. Mullan debuted the new look ‘RAMJET’ machine last time out at Cabarita, the Victorian wearing a broad smile after his early laps in the new hull, a sign that the 7-time AUS#1 believes he is starting to breach the gap.
In 400-Class the battle between Justin Roylance and Jody Ely will continue, Ely keen to make amends for Roylances narrow win last time out at Keith and add his name to the winners list in South Australia after falling just short on two previous occasions.
LS-Class too should see a fantastic battle for the top of the timesheets, with runaway points leader Bastian Mullan gunning for his maiden title in just his first full season of competition, the second-generation driver though will have no shortage of rivals with reigning champion Kyle Elphinstone, Keith’s Matt Malthouse and West Australian gun Daniel Salter all looking for victory in what promises to be one very unpredictable day of action.
Back at the start of the 2021 season, 2019 Unlimited champion Slade Stanley continued his championship winning form with a dominant victory over arch-rival Phonsy Mullan, the ‘Hazardous’ driver claiming the win in the Keith final by 1.8-seconds, with former champion Scott Krause third, almost two seconds down on Mullan’s best.
Since then things have evolved, Stanley’s momentum suffering a setback at round three, the reigning champion inverting his boat after running wide at Cabarita during the second final whilst again in a dominant position, handing Mullan his first win since 2018, and with it, a return to the top of the championship points.
At the close of the long pandemic break, Mullan was back with his new ‘PULSE’ hull, and despite very little testing time on the water, he managed to take the fight to Stanley last time out, getting to within half a second of the New South Welshman in the rain effected event, a sign perhaps that the gap has closed to within sight of an outright victory.
Stanley’s maximum points haul at Cabarita has put him back in front in the points race, although he will need to be on his ‘A’ game at Keith in order to seal his second Unlimited title, whilst you can expect Mullan to throw everything at it to apply maximum pressure and try to force Stanley into an error.
Interestingly, Mullan has never won at Keith, but he will be up against a group of drivers who have tasted success at the immaculate South Australian venue in the past including Adelaide’s Mick Carroll, who makes a welcome return after 12 months away from the sport. Carroll (2019), Scott Krause (2018) and Stanley (2021) are all past winners at ‘Spitwater Arena’, whilst Mullan has been runner-up on three separate occasions.
Expect the fight for maximum points to be waged between the top two drivers in the championship, but don’t discount their rivals, many of whom could be expected to throw in a late charge and pick up on any setbacks for Stanley and Mullan. Leading the charge would have to be ‘KAM Racing’s’ Scott Krause, the former Keith winner and podium place-getter last time out loves the South Australian venue, and he’s always a threat to pick up an opportunity where it exists. So too two-time champion Daryl Hutton, who will be hoping to keep the memories of his dramatic exit 12 months ago well behind him, his new ‘American Automotive’ ‘Stinger’ has proven to be much more to his liking, whilst his ‘Farr Faster’ built powerplant has proven it is also up to the task.
Throw in Tyler Finch in the new look twin-turbo 445ci powered ‘Loose Cannon’ and a resurgent Glenn Roberts, and the Unlimited class will be hotly contested, whilst for Cabarita Unlimited debutante Chris Edmonds, he has blindsided everyone with the purchase of a completely different package for Keith, the angry 1800-horsepower supercharged 427ci machine formerly campaigned by Andrew Page as ‘Kamikazi’. Arguably the most frightening boat on the circuit, the newly renamed ‘Yippe-Ki-Yay’ will make it’s debut at the hands of Edmonds, whilst the departing Page will be on hand to assist in the handover.
400-CLASS (International Group A)
The Cabarita round all but sealed the fate of the 2021 400-Class Championship, Justin Roylance’s third win of the year giving him enough of a buffer on a dropped round points system to hand him his maiden title, just reward for his class dominance that includes five wins from six rounds since the penultimate race of the 2019 season.
Despite the title being locked up, there is still plenty to play for, with Jody Ely looking to claim his second win of the year and take the fight back to Roylance to carry bragging rights into the 2022 season, whilst the battle for third position in the points race is yet to be settled, with four-time AUS#1 Mark Garlick looking to try and close down ‘The Girlfriend’s’ Brendan Doyle, Doyle hoping to make amends for his practice setback last time out at Cabarita.
Whilst Garlick and Doyle will be a battle to watch, another name will be looking to make his presence felt, off the back of a third-placed return to the sport last time out at Cabarita, former Keith Unlimited winner Tremayne Jukes finishing the round on the podium, having lost second to Ely by a mere one, one thousandth of a second.
Fast at Keith, Jukes will continue his development program with the new ‘PULSE’ hull, but should the team gain the data they’re looking for, expect them to let Jukes off the hook, and if the boat performs as well as the team are expecting, Jukes could be a contender to add another Keith crown to his cabinet.
Throw in the ever-improving Danny Knappick (Tuff n Up) and Darrin Kesper (Let’s Boogie) and you have a strong field of drivers all looking to close out their 2021 campaign with a solid result.
After a tough start to his title defence, Kyle Elphinstone’s championship assault finally clicked into gear last time out at Cabarita, the New South Welshman claiming his first-round win since 2019 to move into second outright in the title race, although mathematically, too far behind to contend for the 2021 title.
The result though did provide some hope for the ‘Blackout Racing’ team in their efforts to close down the advantage that both Bastian Mullan and Matt Malthouse have held over the field since the opening round at Keith in March last year.
From Mullan’s perspective, two wins from four starts puts him well and truly in the box seat as he looks for his maiden title in just his first full season in the sport, although this time around he will have his hands full battling round one winner Matt Malthouse – who was forced to miss the last round after suffering from an engine parts delay – and round four winner Elphinstone, although all three will have to keep their eyes on West Australian Daniel Salter.
Salter is no stranger to Keith having raced at the South Australian venue in 2019, although at that stage he was campaigning a 400-Class entry. Last time out he managed to upstage drivers the calibre of Justin Roylance and Ben Hathway to record a third placed-finish behind Paul Kelly and Jody Ely, however since then he has become a force to contend with in the West in his LS-Class machine – expect that experience to come into play this weekend!
Whilst the battle for the championship will likely come down to Bastian Mullan enjoying a clean run into the final, his younger brother Nate too is embroiled in a fight for a place on the championship podium. Whilst not officially entered into the event, word was that the ‘RAMJET Racing’ squad of their father, Phonsy, was trying to put together a third boat for the team, to allow Bastian to run as a single entry as the focal point of the ‘RIPSHIFT’ team. That would allow Nate to run his own entry without fear of affecting his brother’s title aspirations – stay tuned on that front, but given Nate’s dramatic pace at Keith last time out (his maiden run in the sport, where despite a DNF in the final, he placed second), he could well be a contender for a podium to close out the season.
Add in the father and son entry of Ron and Tyler O’Day (Ago-Vation) – who had been consistent midfield finishers in 400-Class before electing to join the LS-Class battle – Paul Hill (Slicer), who is always a contender, the ever-improving Matt Riley (Toe Cutter), Jim Beaman (JB Racing), Rob Johnston (Almost There) and Mike Hessell (Borrowed Time) and you have a solid field of LS entries all looking for a strong finish to the season.
Frustratingly for Koby Bourke, he will again be forced to battle the clock as rivals for the Junior Development team have failed to emerge, a disappointment for the ‘Lil Psycho Racing’ team who have provided an incredible opportunity for the many junior drivers to join the championship and compete against Koby in the team’s own boat. Sadly, planned entries have been effected by the pandemic, although with Koby’s continuing growth, the 13 year old might soon be too tall for his hull, providing an ideal opportunity for those teenagers looking to step into the sport a perfect platform to join a team with three seasons of experience.
The final round of the 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship will kick off from 10:30am with the first of four qualifying rounds ahead of the finals which will begin at 3:00pm, but for those who cannot be at the circuit, LIVE streaming will be available via the AFJSA Facebook page; www.facebook.com/V8Superboats with potential the stream may be run on YouTube due to the increased rate of spamming on Facebook videos, although details will be confirmed on the V8 Superboats official page on the day.
The pandemic has also affected access to the Keith event, with limited numbers able to spectate, all attendees will need to have purchased tickets online ahead of the weekend via; https://bit.ly/35L7dj3
The Keith Showgrounds are located on the north-eastern side of Dukes Highway off Emu Flat Road. Qualifying heats will begin on Saturday from 9:30am, with the finals underway at 2:30pm.
For those that can’t make it to Keith, a post-produced highlights package will be released on Fox Sports Australia and Kayo Sports (running at the same time as Fox) in the weeks following, check local guides for details.
Rnd#5 [FINAL] 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championships
Keith, South Australia
26 March, 2022
1. Slade Stanley/Vanessa Stanley (Hazardous)
23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET)
28. Daryl Hutton/Mick Parry (Phoenix Lubricants)
32. Tyler Finch/Jarrod Ballard (Loose Cannon)
37. Scott Krause/Jess Tessell/James Parsons (KAOS)
41. Mick Carroll/Daniel Kelly (Excalibur)
212. Chris Edmonds/Jamie Maroney (Yipee Ki-Yay)
888. Glenn Roberts/Tiarna McGifford (Blown Budget)
400-CLASS (GROUP A)
4. Tremayne Jukes/Kimberley Holmes (PULSE)
33. Jody Ely/Greg Blaz (Rampage)
43. Darrin Kesper/Kayla Foote (Let’s Boogie)
45. Danny Knappick/Darren Tickell (Tuff n Up)
67. Justin Roylance/Tracey Little (Team Outlaw)
95. Mark Garlick/Hugh Gilchrist (Grumpy on Edge)
214. Brendan Doyle/Rory Doyle (The Girlfriend)
24A. Bastian Mullan/Kelsie Gill (Ripshift)
24B. Nate Mullan/Jayden Vella (Ripshift)
26. Daniel Salter/Mitchell Hade (The Hustler)
29A. Ron O’Day/Paris O’Day (Agro-vation)
29B. Tyler O’Day/TBC (Agro-vation)
46. Jim Beaman/Ella Simpson (JB Racing)
69. Matt Malthouse/Leighton Collins (Nood Nutz)
82. Matt Riley/James McCarron (Toe Cutter)
114. Rob Johnston/Grant Dodd (Almost There)
219. Kyle Elphinstone/Jacob Bellamy (Blackout Racing)
370. Mike Hessell/Adam Sulcs (Borrowed Time)
512. Paul Hill/Alex Singleton (Slicer)
97. Koby Bourke (Lil Psycho)
Saturday, 26 March;
9:30am – Practice begins
10:30am – Qualifying #1 (60-minutes)
11:30am – Qualifying #2 (60-minutes)
12:30pm – Lunch Break (30-minutes)
1:00pm – Qualifying #3 (60-minutes)
2:00pm – Qualifying #4 (60-minutes)
3:00pm – Junior Development Final (5-min)
3:05pm – Top 12 Finals (60-minutes)
4:00pm – Top 6 Finals (35-minutes)
4:35pm – FINALS
Unlimited Superboat (after round four of five)
1. Slade Stanley (Hazardous) – 136-points, 2. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) – 135, 3. Scott Krause (KAOS) – 118, 4. Daryl Hutton (Phoenix Lubricants) – 107, 5. Glenn Roberts (Blown Budget) – 86, 6. Ben Hathaway (NoodNutz Racing) – 80, 7. Mitch Roylance (BlackJack) – 72, 8. Mick Carroll (Excalibur) – 28, 9. Chris Edmonds (Solid Gold) – 26, 10. Daniel de Voigt (DEVO Racing) – 24, 11. Sam Everingham (Thirsty Merc) – 20, 12. Andrew Page (Kamakazi) – 16, 13. Adam Fairbairn (A.C.E.) – 0, 13. Tyler Finch (Loose Cannon) – 0
400-Class (Group A) (after round four of five)
1. Justin Roylance (Outlaw67) – 141-points, 2. Jody Ely (Rampage) – 135, 3. Brendan Doyle (The Girlfriend) – 104, 4. Greg Harriman (Apache) – 98, 5. Hugh Gilchrist (Apache) – 84, 6. Mark Garlick (Grumpy) – 82, 7. Danny Knappick (Tuff N Up) – 64, 8. Brett Thornton (Still Obsessed) – 58, 9. Tremayne Jukes (PULSE) – 30, 10. Ron O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 26, 11. Daniel Warburton (Team Attitude) – 22. 11. Daniel James (The Girlfriend) – 22, 13. Tyler O’Day (Agro-Vation) – 20, 14. Darrin Kesper (18)
LS-Class (after round four of five)
1. Bastian Mullan (Ripshift) – 135-points, 2. Kyle Elphinstone (Blackout Racing) – 108, 3. Nate Mullan (Ripshift) – 107, 4. Matt Malthouse (NoodNutz Racing) – 102, 5. Jim Beaman (JB Racing) – 92, 6. Chris Edmonds (Solid Gold) – 76, 7. Paul Hill (Slicer) – 60, 8. Matt Riley (Toe Cutter) – 56, 9. Dwayne Mezzadri (Unleashed) – 42, 9. Robert Westerink (The Contractor) – 42, 11. Mike Hessell (40), 11. Nick Druery (Hazzmat) – 40, 13. Mitch Curtis (Smoke & Mirror) – 38, 14. Bill Biggin (JB Racing) – 30, 15. Darren Pollard (Toe Cutter) – 28, 16. Rob Johnston (Almost There) – 22
Junior Development (after round four of five)
1. Koby Bourke (Lil Psycho) – 144-points
V8 Superboats and Keith, a short history..
2021 Australian V8 Superboats Championship
27 March, 2021
1. 08. Slade Stanley/Vanessa Stanley (Hazardous) – 45.207
2. 23. Phonsy Mullan/Leigh Stuart (RAMJET) – 47.019
3. 37. Scott Krause/Rachel Parsons (KAOS) – 48.995
400-Class (Group A)
1. 67. Justin Roylance/Michelle Hodge (Outlaw67) – 50.488
2. 33. Jody Ely/Greg Blaz (Rampage) – 50.987
1. 69A. Matt Malthouse/Leighton Collins (NoodNutz Racing) – 52.602
2. 22B. Nate Mullan/Coda Kolak (Ripshift) – DNF
3. 22A. Bastian Mullan/Josh Borg (Ripshift) – DNF
2019 Australian V8 Superboats Championship
23 March, 2019
1. Mick Carroll (Excalibur) – 48.707
2. Scott Krause (True Blue) – 49.671
3. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) – DNF
400-Class (Group A)
1. Paul Kelly (4Zero Racing) – 50.664
2. Jody Ely (Rampage) – 51.347
3. Daniel Salter (The Hustler) – 52.055
1. Kyle Elphinstone (Blackout Racing) – DNF
2018 UIM World Series – Rnd#1
27-28 October, 2018
1. Peter Caughey (Sprintec) – 49.247
2. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) – 50.707
3. Nick Berryman (NZ Riverjet) – 51.099
400-Class (Group A)
1. Ollie Silverton (PSP Racing) – 52.212
2. Ross Travers (Radioactive) – 54.147
3. Justin Roylance (Outlaw67) – 54.982
2018 Australian V8 Superboats Championship
24 March, 2018
1. Scott Krause (KAOS) – 49.667
2. Rachel Swarts (All Torque) – 53.308
3. Ivan Safranek (Katana) – ww
400-Class (Group A)
1. Paul Kelly (4Zero Racing) – 52.760
2. Mark Garlick (Grumpy) – 53.478
3. Justin Roylance (Outlaw67) – 54.113
2017 Australian V8 Superboats Championship
25 March, 2017
1. Tremayne Jukes (Maniac) – 48.327
2. Phonsy Mullan (RAMJET) – 48.912
3. Ted Sygidus (Frankenzstain) – 51.049
400-Class (Group A)
1. Ben Hathaway (Weapon) – 53.026
2. Mark Garlick (Grumpy) – 54.414
3. Brett Thornton (2Obsessed) – 55.657
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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