Peter Caughey Leads into Penultimate Superboat Round
Peter Caughey Leads into Penultimate Superboat Round - Could 10th SuperBoat title be on the cards?
Canterbury SuperBoat ace Peter Caughey is winging his way north for round five of the six-round MouthFresh Superboat championships, to be held at Meremere, near Auckland, on Saturday, March 24.
The defending champion hopes to take his 10th New Zealand SuperBoat title this year, and is looking forward to a race at one of the oldest jetsprint tracks in the country.
“It’s traditionally a happy hunting ground for this ENZED team, a great venue that’s had a lot of improvements and developments over the years, and continues to get better and better.”
This weekend’s route around the many track islands has been released, and it’ll be fast and flowing.
“That’s the Meremere style, and as it’s such a big track we expect to see the turbo and supercharged boats strutting their stuff.”
He predicted the same for the fourth round, at Hastings, but says the difference this time is it’s a very long track, with a very wide, sweeping speedbowl, which makes for much faster speeds.
“The long straight approaching the speedbowl should see some SuperBoats hit 140kph, pretty quick when you’re navigating a channel only three or four metres wide and barely knee deep,” and even quicker when you consider these boats have no brakes, and will carve multiple turns then stop the clock at well under a minute.
Caughey’s expecting some hot competition given his Sprintec boat favours agility over outright speed.
“Rob Coley in the Nissan twin turbo Sprintec will be a hard charger, and can be expected to set the pace in the MouthFresh superboats, especially given the extra power of the turbo and his confidence with this powerful lightweight package, which is more agile than he’s used to.”
The Altherm SuperBoat raced its first event this season at Hastings and was expected to race at Meremere with number two Richard Burt, but he has pulled out, and it’s not yet clear whether he’ll be a starter in a different boat.
However Caughey says it’s good to see Kate and Blake Briant back in the SuperBoat class after a mid-season break, and he’s looking forward to seeing what Tauranga racer Aaron Hansen comes up with, in his first event in a Sprintec boat.
It’s an ex Rob Coley package powered by an 11.5-litre (705ci) big-block Chev engine, more powerful and heavier than he’s used to.
As for Caughey, he may hold a solid lead heading into the fifth round, but he’s taking nothing for granted.
“During the victory lap at Hastings one of our reverse actuator switches partially failed, which was a bit surprising, but it was nice to find that then, and not during racing or at the start of this event.”
“But it underlines that just one thing needs to go wrong, and it can turn your season around.”
Fortunately the scant nine days the boat was back in the workshop between events was enough to turn it around, albeit with team member Jeremy Madeley working overtime.
“That was a busy time, so I’m relieved that the crew insisted they’d drive the ENZED Trojan SuperBoat through to Auckland for a change while I fly, so I’ll be a lot fresher when I arrive.”
This may be the pointy end of the championship season, but there’s more at stake than the NZ title.
“We’re all now also gauging which boats and drivers are quick as we start to lead into the world championships in Australia, towards the end of the year.”
So there’s a lot at stake this weekend, which will make for some spectacular racing when the boats fire up for the first qualifying round at about 8am.
MouthFresh SuperBoat points after four of six rounds, top 10 only:
Peter Caughey 120
2 Rob Coley 107
3 Nick Berryman 102
4 Richard Murray 93
5 Aaron Hansen 86
6 Baden Gray 85
7 Scott Donald 77
8= Dave Simmons 70
8= P Thompson 70
10 Sam Newdick 69
Altherm Window Systems NZ Championship - 2017/2018:
Round 5 - Meremere March 24, 2018, 8am to
Round 6 – Waitara April 14, 2018