When the Formula One Powerboat Championship Series opens this weekend in Port Neches, Texas, it will have Mercury Racing as a key backer. The Fond du Lac, Wis., high-performance marine engine and accessories company has inked a two-year deal with the series as its “Official Main Engine and Drive Sponsor” in support of its four-stroke APX outboard engine, which starting this season is approved for the Formula One tunnel-boat ranks.
With its four-stroke APX 200 outboard headed for tunnel-boat transoms this season, Mercury Racing has signed on as the primary sponsor of the Formula One Powerboat Championship Series. Photo courtesy/copyright Mercury Racing.
The news was announced today in a Mercury Racing press release.
“Mercury Racing is excited to be partnering with the Formula One Powerboat Championship Series,” said Stuart Halley, the company’s general manager, in the release. “Our support of the premier in-shore circuit-racing series in North America reflects a renewed focus on outboard circuit racing powered by the Mercury Racing Apex Series competition outboard motors. Mercury Racing also appreciates that Formula One and the powerboat racing community is embracing a shift to more-sustainable and modern engines.”
As part of its sponsorship package, Mercury Racing will have a two-seat tunnel-boat powered by an APX 360 outboard—standard power competitors on the F1 H2O international tunnel-boat circuit—at all five races in the Formula One series. It will be available for VIP and media demo rides.
Each event will feature multiple boat classes in addition to the top Formula One tunnel boat class, according to the release. Several top teams are expected to race with the 200 APX outboard, which produces 200-plus hp. The 3.4-liter, V-6 engine also reportedly produces dramatically lower emissions—some 90 percent lower—than the two-stroke Mercury Racing 200 XS outboard engine currently used in tunnel-boat classes.
Though still used in the tunnel-boat competition, the 200 XS outboard is out of production.
Said Tim Seebold, the managing director of the Formula One Powerboat Championship Series, “Mercury Racing outboards have powered the top classes on the Formula One series, and we welcome its rededication to outboard competition with both this sponsorship and the development of the APX Series, a new generation of competition outboard power.”
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