Starting this season, Outboard Performance Class teams in two categories will be allowed to hang Mercury Racing’s 200 APX and 360 APX four-stroke outboard engines on their transoms. The 200-hp outboard was approved for the OPC’s Formula 200 ranks and the 360-hp engine was approved for the organization’s Mod U class by the American Power Boat Association during its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., in late January.
The news was announced Friday in a press release from the Fond du Lac, Wis., high-performance marine engine and accessories company.
Mercury Racing’s four-stroke 200 and 360 APX outboards are now officially approved for two OPC classes.
“Mercury Racing is excited to bring a new level of technology and sustainability to OPC racing,” said Stuart Halley, Mercury Racing’s general manager, in the release. “These outboards will offer fans a thrilling show and racers outstanding performance with a significant reduction in tuning and maintenance expense, all with a reduction in exhaust emissions that benefits everyone.”
The Mercury Racing 200 APX and 360 APX outboards also were approved for competition outside the United States in the Union Internationale Motonautique F2 and F1 classes.
According to the release, the Mercury Racing 200 APX outboard was designed to replace the Mercury Racing 200XS OptiMax and older two-stroke V-6 outboards, which are no longer in production but currently are used in the OPC Formula 200 class, and is the first V-6 four-stroke competition outboard produced by Mercury Racing.
“The two-stroke outboards will remain eligible for Formula 200,” said Sherron Winer, the OPC category chairwoman, in the release. “Racers are often resistant to change, and we anticipate there will be a gradual transition to the new four-stroke outboards. The truth is that the two-stroke outboards have almost become vintage equipment, and it’s time to make a move toward a sustainable future.”
Added APBA president Chris Fairchild, “Ultimately the performance of the 200 APX outboard will be proven on the course. The racers will need some seat time to adjust to the torque curve of the four-stroke engine, but these new outboards offer so many advantages I think most teams will be ready to make the change.”