RAINBOW’S Michael Parry navigated his team to a fourth-placed finish in the V8 Superboats World Series in Tweed Heads in New South Wales at the weekend.
Competing against the best boats around the world, Parry said he was relatively pleased with the result despite a tumultuous build-up.
“It was a pretty crazy couple of weeks preparing, but overall we’re pretty happy with it,” Parry said.
“We were aiming to finish top three in the world, so given the trouble we had we were okay with that.”
Parry’s team competed in the unlimited division, where the boats are custom made to go from naught to 130 kilometres an hour in just 1.6 seconds. But with such powerful machines, issues can be commonplace.
The team switched to a twin turbo set-up during preparation for the biannual event, and got the boat running just 10 days before the first round in Keith two weekends ago.
Issues arose with the new set-up after the first day of competition, forcing the team to dismantle the engine on Saturday night and order in parts from across the state.
“We got bits sent in from Bendigo across to Horsham, we had people there who picked it up and brought it to Keith,” Parry said.
“We borrowed some other parts from people in Horsham, and between it all we ended up getting the thing going at about 3am Sunday morning, and then getting up to race at about 7am.”
Sunday ran relatively smoothly, but issues returned, forcing the team to dismantle the engine again to try and fix a fuel system problem ahead of the final round.
“We ended up running on the weekend with damaged valves which is a massive risk,” Parry said.
“There’s a chance they could end up falling off and absolutely destroying an engine.”
In spite of the danger, the team got off to a great start in the final round before the problem cut their day short.
“We were up there to start, I think we had second best time of the day early on,” Parry said.
“But we pulled the valve again which meant the engine lost power and we had to stop.”
With the issues the team finished fifth in the second round for a combined result of fourth in the world.
“We were okay with finishing fourth,” Parry said.
"It was a couple short of where we wanted to be, but considering how little time we had to prepare we were pretty happy.
“The weeks have been crazy, plenty of long nights working on it, testing it out, dismantling it. It’s been a hectic period that’s for sure.”
The next World Series will be held in the United States in 2020, and Parry’s team are already setting their hopes high.
“We’ve been at the pointy end for a fair few years, now we just want to get right to the top,” he said.