The final event of the abbreviated 2020 offshore racing season, the Offshore Powerboat Association’s Crystal Coast World Championships in Morehead City, N.C., October 22-25 will see veteran competitor Brit Lilly and extreme motorsports champion Travis Pastrana getting turns behind the wheel of the Miss GEICO raceboat. Lilly will join throttleman Steve Curtis in the cockpit of the team’s 47-foot Victory catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines in Friday’s shorter, half-points contest. Pastrana, who has a rally car obligation on Friday and Saturday, will take over for Lilly in Sunday’s longer, full-points contest.
In September, the Miss GEICO cockpit duo of Steve Curtis and Brit Lilly ran the team’s 47-footer in race conditions—for the first time since its rebuild—at the Crystal Coast Grand Prix in Morehead City, N.C. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“This is Brit’s third event and Travis’ first event,” said Gary Stray, the crew chief for the Class ONE team. “So with Travis, we will start at a different pace to get comfortable and build up. Brit is a bit more familiar with the boat handling now and so we can push earlier.”
Lilly joined Curtis in the cockpit of the Miss GEICO raceboat earlier this month at Offshore At The Ozarks-Cat Edition in Central Missouri. A broken input shaft for the port engine’s transmission and a wire harness issue knocked them out of the first contest of the weekend and kept them sidelined for the second. But Stray said the team was pleased with the boat’s performance before the mechanical failure.
“The changes we made during the rebuild of the boat have been very effective,” he said. “The Lake of the Ozarks race gave us the opportunity to verify those changes because we raced there last year, which meant we could quantify the changes with data. It was very good.”
Earlier this month and in September, Brit Lilly (left) shared the cockpit of the Miss GEICO with Steve Curtis.
With its Class ONE competition sidelined overseas for the season, Miss GEICO will run its final races uncontested. For Stray and company, the value of participating in next weekend’s OPA event extends beyond getting seat time for its new drivers, further dialing in the boat and gaining exposure for their sponsor.
“The effort and professionalism of the team doesn’t change regardless of event or the competition,” said Stray. “This installs good habits for everyone involved and makes us ready for when it counts.”
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