With a cockpit pairing best described as a cagey veteran and a talented rookie, the Racing for Cancer/AutoNation team of throttleman/owner Randy Sweers of Fastboats Marine Group and driver Jeff Bentley, who joined the team after the Super Boat International offshore race in Sarasota, Fla., in July are heading into the SBI World Championships in Key West, Fla., in less than two weeks with the goal of a top-three overall finish. To that end, Sweers, Bentley and their crew are repowering their 41-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran with brand-new 750-hp engines from Ilmor Marine. (The team formerly ran engines from Potter Performance Engines in Bradenton, Fla.).
With engines from Ilmor Marine, Sweers, Bentley and the rest of the Racing for Cancer/AutoNation team are hoping for a top-overall finish at the SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., next month. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.
“We have a great set of brand-spanking-new motors for our raceboat—the same engines Broadco and Cleveland Construction have—and the first one arrived two or three hours ago,” said Sweers, who entered the offshore racing world in 1995, in a telephone interview this afternoon. “We are finally going to have the same horsepower that everyone else has. We’re rigging a lot of stuff right now—we’re going through the boat completely, and we’re putting in a secondary intercom system.
“Our driver has come a long way since he started after the Sarasota race,” he continued. “I’m able to push the boat a lot harder. I know that a lot of the (Superboat-class) teams run really hard. It’s been a long time since we’ve done well in Key West. I think the year we crashed in testing when we were running Supercat Light was a missed opportunity for us. I want to finish all three races this year. My goal is to get in the top three (overall). I think we have a fast enough boat.”
The team’s twin Potter-built engines will be its back-up engines in Key West this year, a luxury the team has not had in recent years. Sweers said that those engines will be rebuilt by Ilmor Marine after the Key West event, whether the team uses them or not.
“Ron (Potter) has been great for me,” he said. “He’s a great guy to do business with and I have the utmost respect for him. But he’s more of a poker-run engine builder that an offshore racing engine builder. With Ilmor being there and having a couple of guys at every race, it just works for us.
“I tell my crew guys that life is about opportunities,” he continued. “When we get to Key West, we need to make the most of the opportunities at hand.”
Editor’s Note: Look for a full feature on the Racing for Cancer/AuotNation team on the home page of offshoreonly.com on Tuesday, Oct. 28.