Mobil Outlaw shook off a fuel-tank scare on Friday night to surprise the field at yesterday's 52nd running of the T&T Great Race by not only being the first boat to reach the sister-isle of Tobago, but by winning the title in the 80MPH Class.
The win capped off a surprising twist during the week which saw the boat being plagued with problems after problems, finally settle down to give the two-man crew victory according to throttleman Jason Ross, who spoke to Guardian Media Sports after the race.
He said, the win in an unofficial time of one hour, 14 minutes and 52 seconds, now makes it their fourth time winning in their category, a convincing achievement for a boat that was rebuilt in 2019. They have also set a new record time in the category, beating back the time that was set last year.
Fans who could not make it to the race route to catch a glimpse, saw it all on the Facebook pages of the T&T Powerbeat Association, Bmobile and CNC3, witnessing an almost flawless drive by the Ross cousins (Jason and Michael Ross) who only on Friday at 7 pm had completed a change of their fuel tank which had been filled with foam.
Ross (Jason) said: "I expected to win in our class but I never thought we would have won overall, that was a great achievement. We went into the race with a plan to just run as fast as we possibly can and it worked. The water out there was in no way easy but we made it in a time of one hour and 20 minutes."
Last year's 80mph class winner Heatwave had to settle for fourth this time around, while Hammer Time followed Mobil Outlaw in the second position with Blue Ice in third.
Meanwhile, last year's 95mph class and overall winner Energiza was a mere shadow itself but still manage to retain the class win, as it was the only competitor on the day. Limitless took the 60mph class win, with Fire Chief and Super Tuff prevailing in the 70mph and Cruiser Classes respectively.
In the big 130 mph category Big Thunder limped home with only one engine working for the class win.
The day was set to be a showdown with 18th-time winner of the event Mr Solo Too, but Mr Solo broke down early, leaving Big Thunder as the lone competitor in the race. However, early troubles also affected Buxo and throttleman Allan Pereira heading up the north coast.
According to Buxo: "From the start, we blew a gasket and lost power. We were concerned if we could make it to Tobago and whether we should call it a day, but we decided it's either we make it to Tobago or we blew up our engine, and in the end, we lost one engine. We were just happy to make it to Tobago."
Buxo's challenges did not only start yesterday but even when the boat was being prepared to contest the race. "We were helped by Mr Solo, Paramount, which did not race today and Monster. They all gave us parts to put on the boat and also good advice, so in a sense, I feel that the win is for all the big boats. I am appreciative of their help."
Buxo said he will now focus on scrapping the boat and building a new one for next year.
GREAT RACE 2020 RESULTS
1st Super Tuff
2nd Dream On Super Muff
3rd Jesus Is Coming
3rd High Grade
4th Soul Rebel
1st Fire Chief II
2nd Extreme Measures
3rd Ketch This
1st Mobil Outlaw
(Champion - 1hr, 14 min 52 sec)
2nd Hammer Time
3rd Blue Ice
5th Hero V
6th Hero III
1st Big Thunder