Four rounds, four wins for Caughey
March 9, 2018
Four rounds, four wins for Caughey
Close final won by three-hundredths of a second
It was a nailbiting final for the ENZED team in the fourth round of the MouthFresh SuperBoat championship on Sunday.
The fast, open track suited the turbo boats, and the top three or four racers were separated by just 10ths of a second for most of the day, with Rob Coley setting the fastest times.
Canterbury racer Peter Caughey knew his Sprintec boat’s naturally-aspirated engine has a disadvantage on fast circuits against the turbo engines, “But no matter what, as soon as we were in the final we were happy, as we knew we could maintain our season lead.”
That meant there was nothing to lose by going for it. “We love to race and we love to win, so we were making changes to the boat – the air pressure changed throughout the day, which doesn’t affect the turbo motors as they make their own air pressure.”
They can also turn up the boost, which that meant it wasn’t obvious who still had better times up their sleeves.
“But our strength is in the handling, and we continued to tighten up the boat and got gains from that – but we made a small change just before the final that nearly undid us.”
Caughey says if he could rewind he wouldn’t have made that move. “I was more familiar with the set-up from the top six, and when we went out to go rip or bust we went wide on a couple of corners and clipped a grassy knoll in the second half of the rotation, and it was nearly all over, Rover.”
Split times show Caughey 0.2 seconds ahead after the first half, but that knoll knocked him back, and he crossed the finish line in 42.654 seconds, knowing Roby Coley had already gone faster.
But Coley couldn’t repeat his earlier time and crossed the line in 42.689, in second place by just 0.035 seconds.
“Rob has been a long-term racer of our Sprintec boats, he’s probably owned more than anybody, other than myself, and he’s a determined racer who has made a substantial investment in the sport.”
“He’s definitely hungry for a win – he had his first win at this track a couple of years ago. The new boat he has with the twin turbo is proving to suit him very well, so he’s a man on a mission heading into the next round.”
But he wasn’t the only racer on a mission.
“Obviously it was very close, very tough racing all day, and credit to all the SuperBoat teams who turned up for the Altherm Window Systems NZ Championship, for being so competitive and putting on such a good show for the crowd.”
Especially Richard Burt, “The magpie of jetsprinting, in his fourth different boat in four rounds — this time driving the Altherm superboat — did well. He didn’t look comfortable for the first few runs, and he was definitely living on the edge, but he settled in and really started to put in some great lap times and was the first driver to crack the 42-second barrier. The package is good, and he was driving it well.”
It should be good, Peter built the Sprintec hull. “I was amused he was clocking those times in a Sprintec as a few years ago he swore he’d never drive one – so I got to pull his leg at prizegiving.”
There’s no wonder Caughey was in a fine mood. “A win at the first time we’ve had our new boat at the Riverside track in Hastings, it has that infamous hairpin so it was a good test to see how it would go. It handled it better than our other boat, mind you we needed every advantage we could get. A nice feature of our package that we can get up to speed really quickly, but the turbo boys were really putting down a serious challenge.”
Caughey is now towing his winning boat back to base aboard his Trojan trailer.
“It’s a short turnaround before Meremere, the boat will only be back in the workshop for nine days before it turns around and heads back to Auckland, but we’re looking forward to continuing the fight for this season’s crown.”