When you think about the success of MTI in offshore powerboat racing, Bob Bull’s 52- and 48-foot CMS team raceboats likely leap to mind. In 2015, Bull and MTI founder Randy Scism won all three races in Key West, Fla., in the 52-footer to earn a Super Boat International Unlimited-class world championship.
Of course, there’s much more than that, including the 2014 SBI Superboat-class world championship earned by then-owner/driver Chuck Broaddus with throttleman Grant Bruggemann of Broadco team fame in a 40-foot catamaran built by the Wentzville, Mo., company. One year later, Tomlinson and Gary Ballough piloted a 48-foot MTI catamaran—now the XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka Class 1 raceboat—to a Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 world title.
The CMR Construction and Roofing team earned MTI’s first Super Stock-class checkered earlier this month in Sarasota, Fla. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But until the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix earlier this month in Southwest Florida when the CMR Construction and Roofing cockpit duo of driver/owner Sean Connor and replacement throttleman Tomlinson—subbing for regular throttleman Shaun Torrente—took the checkered in a 32-footer, an MTI catamaran have never won a Super Stock-class race.
What took so long? First and foremost, MTI doesn’t offer a 32-foot cat as a “standard” model. The boat originally was built specially to compete in the XCAT World Series overseas. Conner purchased the 32-footer, and once it arrived stateside Torrente went to serious work on it. The three-time UIM F1 H2O tunnel-boat racing series world champion literally cut the catamaran in half and narrowed its tunnel by two inches at Shaun Torrente Racing, his thriving high-performance marine parts design and fabrication business in Fort Myers, Fla.
Torrente dearly wanted to be in the cockpit in Sarasota, but he had a tunnel-boat racing commitment with the Abu Dhabi team in France, so Tomlinson got the nod. The veteran throttleman and Conner took the checkered flag ahead of 10 teams and earned MTI its first Super Stock-class victory.
Said Torrente in a telephone message after the win, “I’m pacing the streets of France as we walk back from dinner. Sean was turning the boat incredibly and Johnny was getting used to the boat and kept getting quicker and quicker. I’m so thankful for him sitting in for me.”
Editor’s note: “MTI At 25” is a weekly series on speedonthewater.com celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. A new installment will go live every Wednesday on speedonthewater.com through the end of the year.
MTI At 25—Project Mayhem, The Prequel
MTI At 25—Kaiser Storms Boyne Thunder In New 500R-Powered 440X And Matching 48
MTI At 25—The Standard Bearing Holy Cow!!!
MTI At 25—This Is Howe2Live
MTI At 25—Bahamas Adventure No. 3 In Progress
MTI At 25—Aqua-Mania Carries The Turbine Torch
MTI At 25—A Kiwi Calls His Shot
MTI At 25—Taking The Class 1 Title With Team Abu Dhabi
MTI Celebrates 25th Anniversary In First-Class Fashion
MTI At 25—Spooled Up Twice
MTI At 25—Making New History
MTI At 25—Black Ice
MTI At 25—Team Vengeful Takes Key West
MTI At 25—The Wonderful Windship
MTI At 25—Phantom Of The Poker Run
MTI At 25—Pass Blocker And The Art Of Going Bigger
MTI At 25—Meet The Twins
MTI At 25—A Perfect Worlds For CMS
MTI AT 25—The Lambo Days
MTI At 25: In The Lead With Randy Scism
MTI At 25—The Fan-Favorite Tommy Baha
MTI At 25—Perfecting The Owners Run
MTI At 25—Enter The Massive V 57 Center Console
MTI At 25—The First 340X Starts The Craze
MTI At 25—Looking Back At Speed Racer
MTI Celebrating Silver Anniversary All Year