Phonsy Mullan continues to storm toward his fourth consecutive Australian Unlimited Superboat crown with a decisive win under lights at Lake Centenary in Temora, Queensland, last weekend. Untouchable for the entire event, the RAMJET pilot topped every session of the day to keep alive a winning streak that stretches back almost two years, the Victorian defeating Darek Sygidus and two-time champion Darryl Hutton in the final.
Phonsy Mullan put in yet another stellar performance last weekend in Temora. Photos courtesy/copyright Russell Puckeridge/Pureart Creative Images.
In 400-Class points leader Brett Thornton recorded his first win of the year and extended his points lead, the Queenslander battling Justin Roylance and David Moodie through the finals.
Ultimately the sport was the big winner with another strong Temora crowd attending Allcott Hire Park for the final event of the season ahead of the winter break, the Series now moving north to the Tweed Coast venue until a return to Temora again on October 1 for the penultimate round of the year.
High-Quality Qualifying Performance
As expected, Mullan was quick straight out of the box, setting the fastest time in the opening qualifier with reigning World No. 4 Jamie Welch slotting in right behind, just four tenths of a second shy. But no sooner had the West Australian returned to the trailer, came news that the front-running Natwel Racing machine would be forced to retire with head gasket failure.
That opened the door for the Excalibur team, with crowd favorites Mick Carroll and Tony Giustozzi leaping up the order to battle Mullan and former champion Darryl Hutton through the four qualifying sessions. Ultimately, no-one could stop the RAMJET pilot from setting the top spot, his jaw-dropping 38.886 in Q2 almost two seconds faster than his rivals.
In 400-Class, former 350 champion Brett Thornton put in a winning performance.
Typically there was plenty of action in the qualifying sessions, Scott Krause’s leap out of the water in Q2 bringing the big local crowd to their feet as the Temora-based driver launched himself off the bank, but he “kept the boot in” and righted the boat on landing to complete an exciting, although not very fast lap.
In 400-Class, former 350 champion Brett Thornton made his intentions felt immediately, ultimately setting the fastest time in every qualifier to head into the finals with an advantage of almost one second. He pushed his rivals to go looking for something a little extra, which forced more than one to find the limits of the circuit.
In the end it was fellow Queenslander Brooke Lucas who got closest, with former Temora winner Greg Harriman third as the finals approached.
Frustratingly for Spanet’s Kevin Laugesen the V8 Superboats veteran was unable to find the form which made him an early favourite last time around at Temora, although he did enjoy a close battle with round two winner Mitch Roylance and Queenslander David Moodie.
Fast In Finals
As the elimination finals began the likely podium contenders started to emerge. Sadly for Brooke Lucas, he and Trouble Maker—despite being amongst the pre-season favorites— found the bank in the first final and were out of the serious points.
Mullan meanwhile stepped up the pace again in the Unlimited class, to lead the timesheets after the first final by just under a second from Daryl Hutton who turned in his best run of the day. Sadly, it would be his last real challenge on the leaderboard, a mechanical failure in the final ending his weekend on a sour note despite collecting the silverware for third.
Scott Krause’s leap out of the water in Q2 bringing the big local crowd to their feet as the Temora-based driver launched himself off the bank.
As the night drew to a close, Mullan’s greatest challenger wound up being Darek Sygidus in Frankenzstain. The former 400-Class champion gained confidence with every run to get within 1.5 seconds of Mullan. But that was before the three-time champion put any chance of a challenge completely out of the question, posting a stunning 38.664 in the final—more than three seconds faster than Sygidus.
While Mullan went on to claim his third straight victory of the season, in 400-Class, Brett Thornton was well placed to achieve his first win of the year, in the end the greatest threat to his complete domination of the timesheets in round three came from Justin Roylance in the Top 6 final. The Forbes local got to within .17 of a second Queenslander in Rampage.
Thornton stepped it up again in the final for his fastest run of the night, taking ‘2Obsessed’ to victory over Justin Roylance by 0.54 seconds.
David Moodie too was a big mover across the finals, running just a quarter of a second shy of Roylance into the final three, but contact with the bank, which resulted in a spin, hampered his progress forcing the Jackhammer pilot to settle for third.
Missing from the final were former Temora winner Greg Harriman and round two rookie winner Mitch Roylance. Both showed good pace early, Harriman second fastest in the final qualifier, whilst Mitch Roylance failed to rediscover the pace which saw him stand on the top step at Temora just four weeks prior.
Now the focus shifts north, with the next round of the 2016 Australian V8 Superboats Championship scheduled for the Tweed Coast Jetsprint Club, with rounds four and five held at the popular Cabarita Beach circuit, with the first event on August 6-7, the second September 3-4.
Colin Parish Memorial Trophy—Round Two
It was perhaps fitting that Phonsy Mullan also took out the inaugural Colin Parish Memorial Trophy, the Unlimited Superboat champion winning both rounds two and three, but more importantly across the two events, he was the most consistent driver on times, although in the end, the margin was relatively tight to 400-Class winner Brett Thornton.
Thornton’s three laps were separated by just 0.711 seconds, to Mullan’s 0.895, but taking into consideration the times from the opening round, Mullan emerged as the most consistent across all six finals.