Guy Williamson from our Australian office sent me exciting news recently regarding our OptiMax 200XS SST race outboard. The latest generation of the low emissions 2-stroke made a big impact at its Australian Formula Powerboat GP debut. The second round of the national series was held April 28-30 on the Clarence River in Grafton, Australia.
In a David vs Goliath performance, The three OptiMax entries finished 2-3 and 5th in Formula 1 competition. Apparently the Australian powerboat racing governing body has not yet finished its technical inspection and rule book for the 200 h.p. engine designed for Formula 2 competition. Those wishing to race were forced to move up into the Formula 1 class and compete against 300 h.p. Mercury 2.5 EFI race outboard powered hulls. Any way you look at it, it’s an all Mercury victory.
Reigning 2011 Australian F1 champion Damien Mackenzie continued his winning streak in Grafton. Although Damien was able to fend off the pesty F2 Opti entries – three of his fellow F1 competitors weren’t so lucky. Mercury OptiMax, driven by Michael Page, finished second, just ahead of fellow Opti competitor Grant Trask in My Home Now. Gavin Simmons finished behind the two OptiMax powered entries in his Mercury 2.5 EFI race outboard powered hull. Page and Trask are now 4th and 5th in the F1 points chase – despite their running F2 class engines and missing the 2012 season opener.
Daniel McMahon, veteran ski racing driver and rookie tunnel boat competitor, finished an impressive fifth overall in his Opti-powered 99 Psycho Clowns entry.
“We were out in the practice session Sunday morning and thought there was something wrong. The only boats on the water were the three OptiMax entries,” said Daniel.
“These things are great. You never worry how much time you put on them. It is great to have a product where you just cut laps, not worry and most off all have fun!” Daniel said.
“The SST stands for Super Sport Tunnel and you can certainly see why,” said Troy Wood, team manager for SeaQuest Performance/Task Brothers Racing (sponsor of the three OptiMax powered entries).
“The 200XS SST has more than exceeded all of our expectations in both performance and reliability. They are smooth running with unbelievable fuel efficiency. Some other race engines really have to be treated with kid gloves: started – raced – put away. The Optis just keep going. You don’t have to touch them. Just start and go. We probably did three times as many laps as anyone else out there,” said Troy.
Guy summed up his note to me by writing, “It’s fair to say we’ve shaken things up quite a bit with the OptiMax 200XS SST.” The next event on the 2012 Australian Formula Powerboat GP schedule is Lake Albert in Wagga Wagga, Australia, June 16-17.
24 Hours: Later
The next race event to feature the efficiency and reliability of the low-emission OptiMax is the legendary 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race. Due to an accident that occurred at the 2010 event, the race will run a total of 24 hours over the course of three days (May 26-28) instead of its historical 24 hours of non-stop racing. I’ll post a preview the week leading up to the start of this exciting race.