Inside Factory Yamaha Australia’s WPC Race Team


AUS

Since 2009, Yamaha WaveRunners have benefited from the expertise of the master Yamaha tuners at WaveRunner Performance Centre (WPC). Located on the Gold Coast, Jordan Ross and his tight-knit team have built a pathway for Yamaha racers to compete with the fastest equipment in the racing scene. For 2015, this year marked the second consecutive year where WaveRunner Performance Centre has dominated the AJSBA Pro stock title.

“Yamaha knew at the introduction of the new SVHO platform that they were on to a winner, and the results so far have proven the race pedigree of these new Yamahas,” says Ross. Yamaha selected WaveRunner Performance Centre to partner with when they decided the best way to demonstrate the performance level of the new SVHO was by racing it against other manufacturers in Pro Stock watercraft racing. This initiative paid off spectacularly with the Gold Coast-based outfit going from strength to strength.

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In 2014, Yamaha threw their full support behind the team at WaveRunner Performance Centre. Because of their united efforts, the Pro Stock Runabout title was dominated by Denis Mack, an American rider with links to WPC after riding for the team in 2012 at the Australian titles. During 2014, the team won all but one round, with up-and-coming rider Mitch Wayt also claiming third in the 4th round championship.

The success in 2014 was surpassed this year, with Mitch Wayt taking 18 of the available 21 race wins for the season, something unlikely to be repeated again. Along with consecutive Pro Stock titles, WPC also won the endurance championship in Pro Stock, reaffirming the all round performance edge of the Yamaha WaveRunner. Later this year, the riders from WPC will travel to the IJSBA World Finals in the USA and the King’s Cup in Thailand to compete against the world’s best with hopes of besting their third place finish at the King’s Cup in 2014.

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After people have witnessed the performance level of the WPC Yamahas, they ask what is done to the incredibly fast WaveRunner, so The Watercraft Journal asked Ross to share some trade secrets with us:

“The difference between a race boat and something we will build for a social weekend rider is pretty dramatic. A race boat is probably not the nicest thing to ride around socially as the handling and acceleration is very aggressive and touchy; you really have to be paying attention. We spend so much time fine tuning tiny aspects of the skis performance, something that is not needed for a social ski”.

We pushed Ross to expose exactly what they do to make their WaveRunner so fast, “When the new Yamahas arrive, we already know what can and can’t be done in the rules, so we basically strip the brand new ski back to a bare shell and piece it back together.

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“The engine gets built to the letter of the rulebook, and we modify things like cooling and water routing, everything that is allowed in the rules, but the big gains come from the engine management computer and the prop selection.”

Ross continued, “We spend hours on just mapping the computer for different conditions and different aims, as well as the effort to match the prop with water conditions. We use pretty much off-of-the-shelf WORX sponsons, as they are really the best handling product around and best of all, they are local and help out immensely, so it’s great to have WORX in our corner too.”

 

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Ross also detailed how they make improvements throughout the season, “When we go testing, we will have two identical skis; they perform the same so we leave one the same and trial changes on the other to see the difference. Sometimes we will spend hours just working on a weakness we may have identified from previous races, this year we definitely made improvements with the race ski, not so much with top speed, but with drivability of the engine power delivery.”

Yamaha Motor Australia has also been excited to see their new performance flagship achieve the results over the past two years, and it has cemented the manufacturer’s ability to provide racers the best possible platform to go racing, and win.

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Andrew Donovan

Known throughout the Australian PWC scene as "Skip" and for his astounding eye behind the lens, Andrew's "Photos By Skip" have become some of the best action shots in performance watercraft. When he's not shooting skis, he's freeriding the surf.

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