In preparation for this weekend’s season-opening Super Boat International offshore race in Charlotte Harbor, Fla., Nigel Hook and his crew ran their 48GP V-bottom Lucas Oil/SilverHook earlier today on Lake Monroe near Sanford, Fla. Powered by twin recently refreshed Mercury Racing 1075 SCi engines, the boat reportedly ran “perfectly” according to Hook, who throttles the boat with driver Michael Silfverberg.
To get ready for this Sunday’s SBI race, the Lucas Oil/SilverHook team tested on Lake Monroe earlier today. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thril Pix. (Click image to enlarge.)
“We had great a day,” said Hook. “Everything was fabulous. We hadn’t tested the boat since the 2013 Worlds in Key West (Fla.)”
Silfverberg will practice with Hook on Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s race. But while Hook is planning to run all of the races on the SBI circuit this season, Silfverberg will run a more a limited schedule.
“Michael will drive a few races this year, and Miles Jennings will drive as well, as he has before,” said Hook. “But I’m also looking at some new, athletic young talent to join me in the boat.”
Hook declined to elaborate on who the new drivers for the team, which recently nailed down a sponsorship deal with parts.com, might be.
Regardless of who ends up behind the wheel at each event, the Lucas Oil/SilverHook team members have their work cut out for them as they’ll be competing with the likes of the Miss GEICO and Gasse catamarans—each powered by twin Mercury Racing 1650 engines—in the Superboat Unlimited class.
Lucas Oil/SilverHook stepped up to Superboat Unlimited this year as its prior V-bottom class, Superboat Extreme, made a technical rule change requiring teams to run only naturally aspirated engines for 2014. The team opted to keep its existing supercharged power and battle it out in the Superboat Unlimited ranks.
“It’s a tall order, for sure,” said Hook, in reference to competing in the Superboat Unlimited class. “But we’re good in rough water, we turn fast and we’re reliable.”