BEACH — Sunday's Marathon Grand Prix race in the Florida
Keys started at noon, the conditions were hot and the water was flat.
The weekend event was a hit success for APBA Offshore with 87 race boats
in total, while a competing (non-sanctioned race organization) has a race
up the coast in Fort Myers with only 12 boats turning out. The action
in boats racing is solely with the American Power Boat Association, celebrating
its century — 100 years of racing! One of the oldest motorsports organizations
in the World.
The noon race started right on time with 25 race boats. This was also
the biggest class Super Vee has had in many years, without doubt due to
the Sponsorship by General Motors. The GMC Pro Grade 8100 Vortec, powering
most of these boats is fully warranted, which is unheard of in Offshore
racing. This is essentially the same engine you get in your GMC Truck
right from the showroom. The fact that everyone has roughly the same power
and the fact that no-one broke because of engine failure made for a very
The #7 LUCAS OIL Scarab started in lane two, next to pole position
occupied by the #3 H & H Speed and Marine sponsored Cigarette driven
by Todd Klingworth (Todd has just signed the new sponsor "Run Jumbie
Way on the outside was the new 39' Skater, the #8 Spiderman,
driven by Todd Welling, licensed by the hit movie Spiderman, this boat
was clearly the kids favorite. Sure enough Spiderman leaped to the first
turn, just edging out the Lucas Oil Scarab into second place, followed
by Team Donzi, Utz Snacks and Pier 57, all vying for the third position.
Hot on their tail was the new #75 Ettore and #30 Miccosuki Indian
Gaming and Casino. Half way into the race Pier 57 tried to duck in behind
the UTZ race boat and took a spectacular 720 degrees spin out.
I could see in my rear-view mirror was this huge plume of water like a
depth charge being dropped, with a yellow bow spinning", commented
Nigel Hook. "Last years National Champion, Pier 57, was trying everything
to get by us and it reminded me of towing a slalom skier as I saw them
switch from side to side over our wakes".
The #7 LUCAS OIL Scarab lost its position during the caution lap which
followed, several boats came by them in the confusion. When a caution
flag is flying all officials are pretty occupied trying to clear obstacles
and prevent new hazards while wanting to get the race back on track. Chief
Referee, Mike Tomlinson, conceded afterwards that new measures would be
implemented to insure fair play. One boat was penalized, but several had
offended. As a result of this the #7 LUCAS OIL Scarab was relegated
to 7th place on the green flag restart and with only a few laps remaining
was able to pull back one position and finished in 6th place.