When PRW spoke to several of the competitors taking part in the opening round of Australia’s premier circuit racing series, now pioneering the new FORMULA GP class it became clear that all of them could not wait to get back to racing.
Simon Troy (88) said
I’m so looking forward to racing again. It’s been a long two years of interrupted seasons, I can’t wait to line up and race.
With the NSW Government taking a staged and flexible approach to the easing of restrictions as the State continues to take a measured response to managing COVID-19, it has meant that the race at Lake Hume some fifteen kms from the city of Albury can now go ahead. Many of those racing at the weekend will arrive having had little or no testing whatsoever
Troy continued by saying
Due to the Covid restrictions we have had limited testing. We recently moved away from the SST120 and put the Mercury 2.5 motor on. With this change we must add an amount of weight so that is the only real change we have made.
For Kye Cornall (117) testing has also been tough
During our last test session, we learnt that our main gearbox had a small failure due to water found in the oil. So unfortunately, we haven’t completed much testing as of late.
Rhys Coles (14) is another one that is short on seat time
We tested the DAC late last year and found some good speed with a new set up. We knew we needed to make a few changes because when we ran the boat with the Optimax on it we realise that the transom was not set up correctly to suit the Optimax gearcase, it was suited more for the SST120 motor. Since we have been playing around with transom height it’s made an enormous difference.
So, what do the drivers think about the racecourse, we asked Coles
If the course is anything like it was two years ago then it’s quite free flowing with a slight right hander on the front straight. It was a great course, very technical, we’ll see if they decide to run the same one this year as it certainly does suit my driving style. However, this DAC is a new boat on the campaign, so look I’m still coming to terms with it and but yeah I think we should be right in the mix.
When he raced there two years ago Coles hit the right-hand turn buoy whilst leading. Unfortunately, the rear of the boat then delaminated and put him out for the weekend.
Troy was another driver to suffer some mechanical gremlins back then, but he is another that loves the venue.
We raced at Albury a couple of years ago at the inaugural race meeting for this class. It’s an awesome place to race. Can be very tricky with the rollers coming down the back straight though.
Troy and his teammate Adam Fairburn had an up and down race meeting with both boats having issues. Troy’s Molgaard had a fuel tank break causing surge issues, while Fairburn in a DAC had a battery issue which took out the power steering and dash screens. However, they managed to come away with the points lead before covid struck ending the season.
Cornall also has fond memories of the event
The last time we turned up in Albury we got pole position. We were super happy about being the first Aussie F1 Composites Generations 2 Boat to race. We learnt so much last time that we hope to put into this weekend.
This season is going to be a tough one, it’s never easy. There’s definitely some fierce competition out there this season. With this newly presented class, there is the potential for anyone to score a podium place.
When asked who he thought could make a name for himself this weekend Coles replied
Look we haven’t race for two years and I believe everyone can be a serious threat. Simon Troy is always fast, so is Kye Cornall and Ewan Bricker. All the young guys around are very eager and very keen to show everyone what they’ve got.
Although Mathew Wastle is due to be making his debut in a boat he purchased from Peter O’Riley (107 Racing) he unfortunately crashed it two weekends ago at The Upper Hawkesbury Powerboat Club clubman’s day, as seen above. Rumour has it he has bought another boat so it will be interesting to see if the rumour is true, and just who’s boat he has bought.
PRW is also looking forward to the opening round of the 2022 The Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix Series and will be running reports throughout the weekend.