Though the 151 Express team owner Jorge Arellano, a significant booster of offshore racing’s Mod V class who typically likes to keep his name out of the media, reportedly hasn’t made a “final decision” on whether Nick Imprescia and Ian Morgan will reprise their roles as Mod V-class racers this season, smart money says they’ll move into the team’s newly acquired MTI 390XR catamaran in the 450R Factory Stock class.
Nick Imprescia and Ian Morgan turned heads last weekend in the 151 Express 450R Factory Stock-class MTI raceboat duirng the Florida Powerboat Club Tampa Bay Poker Run. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
After making a decidedly public debut in the 39-footer during last weekend’s Florida Powerboat Club Tampa Bay Poker Run, it seems unlikely—at best—that the 22-year-old teammates, co-workers at Shaun Torrente Racing, roommates and best friends since sixth grade would go to all that trouble and then have it sidelined for the 2023 season while they return to the Mod V ranks, where they earned a Race World Offshore World Championship last year in Key West, Fla.
But as the saying goes, stranger things have happened.
Regardless, Imprescia and Morgan are ready to compete in either the Mod V or 450R Factory Stock classes. As long as they’re sharing the cockpit, they’ll be fine.
The 450R Factory Stock catamaran is the newest addition to the now-two-boat 151 Express team.
“Our friendship is thicker than blood,” Imprescia said. “We started racing in the Bracket 700 class in 2016. We showed up at our first race, broke a motor and never even started. Our next race together was in Point Pleasant Beach (N.J.) where took both our first green flag and our first checkered flag.”
Imprescia and Morgan went through a similar progression when they entered the Mod V ranks with the 151 Express team in 2021. They had planned on launching their Mod V career at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, but had to scratch as Imprescia had a personal commitment back home in New York. A mechanical issue kept them from starting what would have been their second attempt to compete in their first Mod V race, the Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind.
A month later, they made their Mod V-class debut at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Fla., and took home the checkered flag.
Imprescia and Morgan claimed first place in their first Mod V-class race, the 2021 St. Pete Grand Prix.
The son of offshore throttling legend Joey Imprescia, Nick Imprescia and Morgan worked in his famous father’s race shop on Long Island for years before coming to Florida to work for Shaun Torrente, who has been a mentor to both young racers.
“I have been fortunate enough to be around some of the titans of offshore racing,” Imprescia explained. “I went from running cats with my dad to running them with Shaun. Working for Shaun has been like going to college. Every day, I learn something new. I have gained more seat time with him in the past years—I don’t even think it’s measurable.”
Morgan agreed. “We run boats almost every day in our jobs,” he said. “Whether you’re getting in raceboats or pleasure boats, seat time is valuable.”
Both Imprescia and Morgan were quick to credit Arellano for affording them the opportunity to be part of the sport. They also praised fellow 151 Express teammates Raymond Vera, Calvin Murphy and Alan Maiden, as well Mod V-class engine builder Chris Bowers, Randy Scism and Scott Blessing of MTI, Mercury tech guru Josh Miller, Torrente and fellow STR employee Randy Truesdale.
“The whole 151 Express team has put in countless hours of work and has always supported and believed in us,” Imprescia said. “I can’t thank them enough. This team is a true family.
“There are so many people to be grateful for, like Chris Bowers built us a winning engine last year and has been progressively working on more hardware for us on the Mod V program,” he continued. “And for the 390XR cat—an absolutely incredible product beautifully designed and built by the winning team at MTI—for 450R Factory Stock, Scott Mander at Speed And Custom Marine for supplying us with all of the Mercury Racing hardware.”
Imprescia and Morgan claimed first-place overall at the 2022 Race World Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.
As for last weekend’s 450R Factory Stock raceboat debut, both Imprescia and Morgan said it couldn’t have gone better.
“It was an absolute ball,” Imprescia explained. “The boat fit us just like a glove. The folks at MTI and everyone else put a great boat together.”
Added Morgan, “I think we were giggling the whole time.”
But will it be the glove that fits them for the season-opening, Race World Offshore-produced 7 Mile Grand Prix, April 28-30, in Marathon, Fla.? Or will they end up in the 30-foot Phantom that carried them to a Mod V-class title in 2022? That question remains.
But smart money says they’ll end up in the cat.
Is the 450R Factory Stock class the future for Imprescia and Miller in the 151 Express catamaran. Offshore fans will know in two weeks at the season-opening 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix.
Monster Energy Drink Backing Powerboat P1 And Race World Offshore
Imprescia And Morgan Joining The Factory 450R Stock Class
Sneak Peek: The Young Lions Of Offshore Racing
Key West Worlds Finale: Twice As Nice