Round 8 - G.J. Gardner Offshore Powerboat Series
Thunder under the Bridge
by Leanne Erceg
After a ten minute delay the final race of the championship series got underway. A typical Auckland day, it started out with torrential rain and ended in sunshine. There was a light westerly breeze churning up the water, enough to test the drivers and keep them on their toes. The starting flag waved vigorously and the boats took off. The V8 Superboats' screamed past with Superboat Lite AB Marine first past the starter boat closely followed by Schick Hydro Racing, Red Steel and Fujitsu Betterheat. Pro-Floors were a little slower off the mark, but once they got their momentum going they joined the leaders and for the better half of the race. It was a magnificent sight watching Fujitsu Betterheat, (Tony Coleman/Chris Hanley), Schick Hydro Racing (Scott Lewis/Murray Tuffin) and Pro-Floors (Wayne Valder/Richard Shores) come flying through the middle arch of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in unison keeping the onshore crowds entertained.
As the race progressed the Schick team took the lead with Fujitsu close behind and Profloors in third position until the final lap, when Fujitsu Betterheat got a whiff of the chequered flag and stormed past to take line honours.
The Napier based team, Tony & Wayne Carson in their 32' Skater, Red Steel, had a solid finish to the season, leading their class the entire 15 laps. AB Marine, Alimax & Total Access were fighting it out until a fuel line to one of the motors broke and Total Access had to limp back to the wharf. Ararimu Free Range with John Shand & Mike Fletcher knew it was going to be a difficult day when their engines spat out some very ugly fumes before they left the wharf. They made it past start line, pulling up after the second lap, only to get going again after making some engine adjustments. However trouble kept haunting them and they called it a day half way through the race. This left Alimax and AB Marine in the hunt for a podium finish and taking second and third respectively. Please click here
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