Fans of the Miss GEICO offshore racing team will have plenty of opportunity to catch the famed 47-foot Victory catamaran in action this season on the racecourse. The Class 1 team, which will see throttleman Steve Curtis and alternating drivers Brit Lilly and Travis Pastrana in the cockpit, released its nine-race, 2021 competition plans today.
The Miss GEICO team has robust plans for the 2021 offshore racing team. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Like most offshore racing teams, Miss GEICO will start the season in Cocoa Beach, Fla., May 20-23, which kicks off the 2021 American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series. From there, the team will head to Sarasota, Fla., June 26-28, for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix; St. Clair Mich., July 30-August 1, for the St. Clair River Classic; Michigan City, Ind., August 5-8, for the Great Lakes Grant Prix; St. Petersburg, Fla., September 3-5, for the St. Pete Grand Prix; Morehead City, N.C., September 10-12, October 7-9, for the Crystal Coast Grand Prix; Clearwater, Fla., for the Race World Offshore Clearwater Grand Prix; Fort Myers Beach, Fla., for the Roar Offshore Fort Myers Beach Grand Prix and Englewood Beach, Fla., November 18-21, for the Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships.
All of the events are sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association
“This year’s calendar features several familiar venues, with race courses varying in size, shape, and water conditions,” said Gary Stray, the team’s longtime crew chief in a press release from the team. “As we continue to optimize the setup of our boat after an abbreviated 2020 season, the diversity of course layouts will aid in our development programs. We take immense pride in having the greatest depth of talent in the cockpit, with Steve on the throttles, as Travis and Brit share driving duties.”
While Stray said he is optimistic “about new entrants for Class 1” and that entire team would welcome them, the odds of that happening are remote. The Dubai-based, Class 1 Victory team, which left its raceboats in Orlando, Fla., after the 2019 season, recently returned stateside and shipped them home. The Class 1 Abu Dhabi team has made no solid commitment to compete, and the 222 Offshore team will remain in Australia this year.
Also of note, the team will pass on the Race World Offshore Key West World Championships, November 7-14.
“Ultimately, GEICO determines what our race schedule will be,” said Scott Colton, the Miss GEICO owners group’s managing partner, in the release. “Key West is a very small media market and that is a factor in their decision. We would love to race in Key West, but we follow our sponsor.”
As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, the team’s contract with its insurance-giant sponsor is good through 2021. With GEICO abandoning motorsports sponsorships across the board, the Miss GEICO team faces an uphill battle—at best—retaining backing from its longtime supporter.
This could, in fact, be the Miss GEICO team’s swan song season. Regardless, the team is dedicated to putting on a good show this for its fans and sponsor, according to the release.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to a full season of racing,” said Curtis. “It will be great to have Travis and Brit back alongside me in the cockpit getting more seat time. We have a lot of great racing venues on the calendar, in addition to (early May) Fort Lauderdale Air Show, which is always exciting for the fans to see us racing the GEICO Skytypers.
“This season gives us a chance to optimize the package we have, and take it into 2022 in a strong position,” he added.