Like any new American Power Boat Association category, the 450R Factory Stock class began its life as an “unofficial” class in its first full year. But with the 2021 season completed months ago and the season kicking off two weeks from now with the eight-race APBA Offshore National Offshore Championships Series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., 450R Factory Stock is a now an official class in the sanctioning body’s rulebook.
Adopted into the 2022 APBA rulebook, the 450R Factory Stock class is official this season, starting with Cocoa Beach. Photo from Thunder On Cocoa Beach 2021 by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
That means 450R Factory Stock-class teams are eligible to accrue National Championship points, as well as compete for an official APBA post-season title at the early November APBA/Union International Motonautique Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.
Per the APBA rulebook, a class must have no less than three registered entries to earn National Championship points at any given race. Two teams are currently registered for the season-opener: the TS Motorsports duo of Taylor Scism and John Tomlinson in a new MTI 390X catamaran and Randy Keys and Bill Allen (of Super Stock-class Team Allen Lawncare and Landscaping fame) in KLOVAR, a 39-foot MTI formerly piloted by Scism and Tomlinson.
While several boats for the class such as a 39-foot Doug Wright catamaran owned by Michael Karsenti reportedly are in the works and close to completion, it’s not certain if a third entry team will be ready in time for Cocoa Beach. Scism, who ran her first complete season last year, said that she and Tomlinson are excited to have at least one team to compete against and hopes a third will make it to series-opener. But she’s not sure it will happen.
The former TS Racing catamaran, KLOVAR will make the season-opener in Cocoa Beach.
“I’ve heard rumors but I can’t confirm anything,” she said.
Though meeting the three-boat threshed for APBA points accrual for the 450R Factory Stock class may take a few races, everyone involved is confident it will get there. The series is just getting started and there are six months of regular-reason competition to go.
“I’m expecting three to four boats in the 450R Factory Stock class by the P1 Offshore Sarasota Grand Prix,” said Cole McGowan, the director of communications for Powerboat P1, the APBA member-organization the Cocoa Beach event as well as races in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, Fla. “I’m encouraged by what I’m hearing from the MTI and Doug Wright factories on the number of orders they have for more race boats to join this class.
“This is a positive reflection of the growth and health of the sport,” he added. “We are ready for them.”
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