Of the six teams that ran in the 450R Factory Stock class this season, two were part of the MTI Concierge Racing Service program. Of those, one—the GC Racing cockpit duo of driver Willy Cabeza and throttleman Shaun Torrente—completed in last week’s Race World Offshore World Championship in Key West, Fla. The other, Mead Family Racing, hung back in Texas as 16-year-old rookie driver Caleb Mead, who won his first race alongside Torrente earlier this year, is in high school.
Zane and Amanda Mead, his parents, are wise enough to realize that a high school education is a tad more important for young Caleb than offshore racing.
MTI Concierge Racing client Willy Cabeza of Miami earned a 450R Factory Stock title last week with teammate Shaun Torrente in Key West, Fla. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Long past their high-school years, Cabeza and Torrente have no such restraints and delivered an outstanding performance in Key West. They took first place in Wednesday’s race in their MTI 390XR catamaran, second place in Friday’s contest and finished second again on Sunday. And that was good enough to claim the 2023 American Power Boat Association 450R Factory Stock world championship in Key West.
In the space of three years, the 450R Factory Stock class has gone from an eyebrow-raising idea to a legitimate, ferociously competitive category involving two builders so far—MTI and Doug Wright Powerboats. MTI principal Randy Scism envisioned it as a “plug-and-play” class, meaning buy a stock canopied catamaran, add twin stock Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines and go racing. His now 26-year-old daughter, Taylor, spearheaded the 450R Factory Stock ranks by running uncontested for a full season.
To further lower the barrier to offshore racing entry, they launched the MTI Concierge Racing program through TNT Custom Marine, the Wentzville, Mo., catamaran and center console company’s longest-standing dealer in 2022. Cabeza was the program’s first-taker.
And now he has a bonafide world championship to show for it.
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