Once again, Team AMSOIL Inboard Endurance made the annual pilgrimage to Parker, Arizona with the GN77 race boat for the 2012 Parker 300 Mile Enduro.
In the months preceding the race, many systems in the boat were overhauled or modified to run at the next level of intensity. The Teague Custom Marine Quad Rotor engine was completely rebuilt due to the extreme overheating in 2011. Remarkably, there was no serious damage to the engine, even after running under full load for a full lap with no water. Regardless, this opportunity to go through the engine was taken advantage of.
Thursday and Friday were spent testing the boat and working the kinks out of the new setup. Bob and John Teague ran many propellers, tested the air-fuel ratio and ran different levels of boost before settling on a combination they felt was the best combination of speed and stability for the notoriously brutal 300 mile endurance race.
They knew that there would be some stiff competition both in their division and for the overall. Gary Harbidian and John Franklin entered their #17 twin turbo Schiada for the first time since beating the GN77 for the overall in 2009.
There were also quite a few new and much improved Modified Outboard entries, which would start in front of the unlimited V-Drives this year. The Enduro is run on a handicap system where the slower divisions start first, and the faster boats have to catch and lap them numerous times to race for the overall.
The race began at 10:00 AM Saturday, October 27, with John Teague starting the GN77 in Division 6 for its first leg at 10:30.
After getting the boat warmed up and in the groove, John went for and executed a pass on #17 for the lead after a few miles of deck to deck competition at over 100 MPH.
During the 17-lap first leg, the GN77 recorded the fastest lap time of any boat during the entire race, averaging over 95 MPH on the extremely rough six-mile course.
John brought the boat in for pit with about ¾ of a lap lead on #17, and was well on the way to catching some of the fastest outboards gunning for the overall.
Bob got into the boat with the mentality of pacing the #17 and maintaining their lead, conserving the equipment for John to put on a last leg all out sprint to the finish if the overall win was within reach.
After a flawless pit by the crew, Bob started clicking off laps. Unfortunately, on his eightth lap the battery broke internally. While this has happened before, usually the engine will run on the alternator until the battery is changed at the next pit. This time, it shorted the ignition and killed the engine across the course from the pits.
Bob managed to get a tow in quickly and the battery was changed during the emergency pit. John got back into the boat on a mission to lay down some fast laps and catch up to the #17, however the electrical gremlins again reared their heads.
After a couple laps of hard running, the MSD Box gave out after being weakened by the battery’s internal shorting. John was still a couple miles from the pits, and by the time he was able to procure a tow, their chances of competing were over.
Although they did not finish, Bob and John agreed they gained valuable experience for future races in the GN77. The engine and new systems in the boat performed flawlessly and the boat’s setup as a whole was the best it has ever been. It is unanimously agreed the battery situation will be redesigned and rethought.
Team AMSOIL Inboard Endurance would like to congratulate their friends and eventual overall winners The War Canoe #435 on their convincing Enduro Overall Victory.
Teague Custom Marine