Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Essentials: What to Know
Celebrating its 37th anniversary this year, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix presented by Visit Sarasota County is the oldest continuous regular season competition in offshore racing. The July 3 event is also the third of eight races in the American Power Boat Association’s Offshore National Championship Series and the second contest in the Union International Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series. Based in UK Motorboat P1/P1 Offshore produced both events, as previously reported on speedonthewater.com.
At least 10 Super Stock teams are expected to take the green flag next month at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, the third of eight races in the American Power Boat Association’s Offshore National Championship Series. 2021 Sarasota Grand Prix photo by Pete Boden copyright Take 2 sensational photos.
The biggest internal change for Southwest Florida? It is no longer affiliated with Suncoast Summerfest or Suncoast Charities for Children, which for decades was its primary benefactor. New for offshore racing fans, Class 1 teams will battle it out for pole position on Saturday, July 2, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the more than four-mile course off the Lido beach.
Qualifying for pole position in class 1, as well as Sunday races, will be broadcast on the P1 Offshore Facebook page. Sunday action begins at 8:30 a.m. with Aqua X watercraft races, with full-size offshore powerboat races due to start at 10 a.m., followed by races due to start at 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2 p.m. 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Race #1 will feature the Bracket 500, 600 and 700 classes. The second race of the day will feature the Stock and Mod V classes, as well as the Bracket 300 and 400. Class 1 will race alone in Race #3 , as did the Super Stock class in the fourth race of the day. The final race of the afternoon will feature Super Cat and 450R Factory Stock.
Here’s what fans can expect from each of the spec classes.
UIM Class 1
Steve Curtis (left) and Travis Pastrana will share a Class 1 cockpit for the first time this season at Sarasota next month. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Powerboat P1.
The second event in the 10-race UIM Class 1 series, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix is expected to see a five-team contest. With a series opener win in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Chocolate Husky is the team to beat and 222 Off Australiawho led much of the Cocoa Beach event before it broke down, will have something to prove. Chocolate Husky throttle Steve Curtis will be joined in the cockpit by motorsports great Travis Pastrana, who replaces Brit Lilly as the team’s driver, likely for the rest of the season.
Graydel won the season opener at Cocoa Beach, while M CON took the win at the Lake Race. Photos by Pete Boden and Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Pictures.
According to Super Cat class representative Tyler Miller of the CON M team, nine teams entered the Sarasota race. With a win for Graydel at Cocoa Beach and CON M Claiming victory at the Lake Race, Sarasota’s contest should be intriguing, especially if a third Super Cat team emerges victorious. But the biggest problem for the class is actually being able to race this year in Sarasota, as delays in 2021 forced organizers to cancel the final race of the day, which included Super Cat and Class 1. P1 was heavily criticized for the past year. cancellation, as the organization was for the long delays of the Thunder On Cocoa Beach 2021 event, which it also produced. Powerboat P1 leader Azam Rangoonwala has promised dramatic improvement, and if the 2022 Cocoa Beach event goes smoothly, Rangoonwala and the P1 Offshore Race Production team are keeping their word.
What do Jackhammer and Steele Industries have in common? A Maldonado has strangled every Super Stock class racing boat to victory this season.
Expect Super Stock to have the largest fleet of any class in every APBA series this season and you won’t be disappointed. According to class representative Ryan Beckley, more than 10 teams will be in the game if current plans hold. “A few are still struggling to get here after Lake Race repairs,” said Beckley, who calls Sarasota home. During the opening of the Cocoa Beach season, the Jackhammer team of Reese Langheim and Ricky Maldonado took the checkered flag. At the Lake Race, the Steele Industries The team of Dominic Steele and Julian Maldonado – the youngest son of Ricky Maldonado – ran a fast race in their skate to claim victory in the Super Stock class. Although both teams put in strong performances, the Super Stock class at Sarasota is wide open and could see a third team take the checkered flag in as many races.
Factory Stock 450R
An official class this season, 450R Factory Stock will have at least two teams in Sarasota.
Although a third team may join Taylor Scism and John Tomlinson from TS Motorsports and Randy Keys and Bill Allen in Klovar Motorsports, both teams would be for Sarasota. The good news for 450R Factory Stock is that it became an official APBA class this year, and Scism and Tomlinson, who prevailed at Cocoa Beach, have much-loved competition. But a third team would be more than welcome as, under APBA rules, teams cannot score national points with fewer than three boats in any given area.
Stock V and Mod V
With four different winners in four different races, the Sarasota Power Grand Prix is everyone’s race in the Stock and Mod V ranks. Photos by Pete Boden and Jeff Helmkamp.
Representative Kevin Smith expects five to six teams to compete in each category based on discussions with fellow competitors Stock and Mod V. Both categories are open to new winners. Although Smith and Brit Lilly prevailed in Cocoa Beach in their LSB / Hurricane of Awesomeness Stock V racing boat, the team was unable to make it to the Lake Race. This Stock V class win went to Offshore Motorboat Association President Ed “Smitty” Smith and his son, Anthony Smith in Wazzup. On the Mod V side, the veteran sun print the cockpit duo of Steve Miklos and Steve Fehrman won the checkered flag and Brian Forehand and Vinnie Diorio in Marker 17 Navy picked up a win at the Lake Race.
Covering the APBA series for speedonthewater.com this season, Navy veteran writer Eric Colby will be in Sarasota for the event. So will chief photographer Pete Boden, who lives in the area. Speedonthewater.com will provide updates on the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix as they become available ahead of the July 3 event.
Home cooking: M CON, Steele and more victorious at the 2022 Lake Race
Leaving no doubt: APBA National Championship Series opens with a bang in Cocoa Beach