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Joe’s ‘Screamer’ is back

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February 14, 2018

Joe Cottam and his famous 'Riverina Screamer' will be competing at the Finley Modified Tractor Pull on Saturday.

Berrigan’s Joe Cottam will be returning to the Finley Modified Tractor Pull on Saturday.

After a three year hiatus in which he rebuilt and modified the engine for his famous ‘Riverina Screamer’, Mr Cottam said he is looking forward to returning with a ‘‘home ground advantage’’ at the Finley Showgrounds.

Mr Cottam’s tractor has a 27 litre Superior Rolls Royce V12 engine, offering more than 2500 horsepower/1830 kilowatts.

New modifications to ‘Riverina Screamer’ include a different manifold, as well as a conversion to run on methanol.

This weekend’s event will be the third outing for the new-look ‘Riverina Screamer’, which was also entered at Sale and Tooradin as a warm-up.

‘‘They both went well,’’ Mr Cottam said.

‘‘The tracks were quite dry which is hard to get traction on the tyres.

‘‘At Finley they have a real nice clay based track, and that’s what you need for high horsepower engines.

‘‘It’s very hard (to compete) through summer because of evaporation. The heat takes the moisture from the track and you end up with a dust bowl.

‘‘Riverina Screamer is in mint condition and will be pulling well again at Finley.’’

Mr Cottam and ‘Riverina Screamer’ are expected to go up against some other popular V12 engine tractors at Finley on Saturday, including ‘Murray Muncher’ and ‘Plum Crazy’.

Despite his confidence and previous performances at Sale and Tooradin, Mr Cottam said it’s important not to be complacent about his chances at Finley.

‘‘So much comes into it — like the gear ratio, tyres and the track,’’ he said.

‘‘You might go to one event and have three wins and think you’re world champion, and go to the next meet and the track doesn’t suit and you get cleaned up.

‘‘Sure there have been many modifications but ‘Riverina Screamer’ still has an incredible engine, even in today’s standards of engineering.

‘‘That engine was designed and built for the second World War.’’

The process for Mr Cottam and his crew to be ready for this weekend’s event is tiring, but worthwhile according to the driver.

He said to get ‘Riverina Screamer’ to the Finley track, a large crane will be needed to hoist it onto a transport truck. An industrial ramp at the showgrounds is used to get it off the truck.

‘‘You really do need six crew members; it’s a long day of work and even the lead up to the event can be pretty long days.’’

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