Reg Benton’s Export Lion

Gale Banks turbocharged engines completely dominated the 1978 edition of the New Zealand Citizen Jet Boat Marathon by powering boats that finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 1978

BANKS TURBO ENGINES SWEEP NEW ZEALAND MARATHON RACE

SAN GABRIEL, CA — Gale Banks turbocharged engines completely dominated the 1978 edition of the New Zealand Citizen Jet Boat Marathon by powering boats that finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

Grabbing the win was Reg Benton of New Zealand making this the second consecutive marathon win for him in as many months. Benton also won the Great Smokey Marathon in Canada.

Benton’s margin of victory in the grueling 1000 kilometer event was a staggering one full hour. Powering Benton’s jet boat was a 454 CID, twin turbocharged Gale Banks Chevrolet engine.

Finishing behind Benton, the top five were as follows: 2nd, Howard Smith with a 350 CID Gale Banks turbo engine; 3rd, Alan Johnson with a 454 CID Gale Banks turbo engine; 4th, Max MacKenzie with a 496 normally aspirated engine and 5th, Selwyn Paynter with a 350 CID Gale Banks turbo engine. Every boat in the top five used a Hamilton jet.

The New Zealand Marathon is the third major international event that has been won by a Gale Banks turbocharged engine in the last three months. Benton’s wins in Canada and New Zealand accounted for two and John Westland won his class in the recent Rio Balsas race in Mexico also using a Banks engine.

“Since this trio of races constitutes all of the recognized international river racing marathons”, said Gale Banks, “it seems reasonably safe to say that our turbocharged engines are the World Champions of river marathon racing”.

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