Class One World Powerboat Championship - What's all the torque about?

Course Graphic - Dubai International Marine Club
Class One World Powerboat Championship.

After a boost from the previous days' testing results in Dubai, Nicolò di San Germano, and race officials are quite confident that the introduction of the torque sensor will herald a new era of transparency and control in the sport.


With the Class One season-opener in Abu Dhabi (13-15 April) just weeks away, several teams were out testing at Dubai’s International Marine Club running the now compulsory torque sensor, one of the new technical and regulatory requirements introduced this year by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the sport’s world governing body.

'The new rules require strict enforcement of regulations. To do this officials must be in a position of control when it comes to any issues relating to and enforcing rules, especially in respect of engine power output during races. The torque sensor puts them in that position.' said Gianfranco Venturelli, H2O Racing’s technical director.

Taking advantage of the pre-season test to set up their boats and get acquainted with, what is for Class One relatively new technology, were Dubai’s Victory Team and Team Abu Dhabi, both running Victory 8.2 liter V12s and Norway’s Zabo Racing, with Relekta powered by Mercury Class One 850 CSI 9.2litre V8s. 'We had four very positive runs,' said Zabo Racing’s team principal, Jan Zaborowski. 'Our Mercury technician was on-hand to oversee the day’s activities and we are all very positive about how things went and the way the data was evaluated. This is the way for the sport to move forward, and all teams should embrace it.'

The torque sensor is fitted to the driveshaft between the engine and the propellers and records a variety of data; rpm, speed, torque and horsepower.

Information recorded by the torque sensor’s data logger during a race or test is then downloaded.

A software program then deciphers and evaluates the engine parameters and performance at any given point on the course and can show whether or not the boats is running within the agreed regulations. 'Teams should be happy. The introduction of this device will put a stop to speculation or rumors spreading about who is running what.' Venturelli said.

NB:

The course graphic indicates engine performance that has been downloaded, showing the power band, blue indicating the lower end and red the maximum power range.

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