With a tough Super Boat International season plagued by mechanical issues from metal flakes in the oil of one of their BPM drives in the in Cocoa Beach, Fla., season-opener to a detonated blower in practice before last weekend’s National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., the Unlimited-class Envy offshore racing team has decided not to participate in the upcoming SBI World Championships Nov. 8-15 in Key West, Fla. That’s the word from team owner/driver Chris Cox.
Captured here during the SBI event in Michigan City, Ind., the Envy team had a challenging season this year—but team owner/driver Chris Cox said he’ll be back in 2016. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“What we are doing right now is hitting the reset button on the whole program and not going to Key West,” said Cox. “We are going to take the rest of the season off, which will give us some decompression time to get over some of the ‘nuisance’ issues we had during the season. We’re hoping that will give us some clarity. The harder you push, the harder things push back. My idea was, ‘Hey, let’s stop pushing, relax and take some time off.’ Boat racing was supposed to be about venting frustration from work and having some fun. But it’s become another full-time job.
“We could make the Worlds if we push harder,” he continued. “But think of it as a balloon—when you put in too much pressure, it doesn’t take much for it to blow up. It’s frustrating and embarrassing doing everything we can for zero reward. If I were to go to Key West this year and have the ‘flux capacitors’ blow up I’d be done.”
Cox vowed to return next season with a new Stotler Racing Engines power program. He said plans to go the turbocharger—most likely electronically fuel-injected—route with his 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran.
“We’re going to give it one more chance and see what happens,” he said.
The decision to bow out of Key West, he emphasized, was difficult but now that it’s been made he’s comfortable with it. What’s more, despite the Envy team’s mechanical woes in Clearwater they came out of the event with a positive takeaway.
“The one thing we’re really excited about that we learned in Clearwater was that we have the center of gravity in the boat just about the perfect,” said Cox. “We learned that it really turns. Herb said he’d never been in a boat that turns so well, ever.
“I have a smile on my face—I’m not kicking the dog about not going to Key West,” he added. “We’re going to reset. Now we have all the time in the world.”
The Envy team worked through the night to get the boat ready for last Sunday’s SBI National Championship, but engine issues knocked it out of the race early. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.
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