Plagued with mechanical issues in the first two Union International Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series, rookie racer Alex Pratt and veteran competitor Miles Jennings are done with the 345 Racing team and its Victory catamaran and will finish the eight-race season in a 2019 model-year 45-footer from MTI. Their new team, dubbed GBX Racing, will be sponsored by Pratt’s Good Boy Vodka premium vodka and hard seltzer brands and XINSURANCE, the former lead backer of 345 Racing.
The Class 1 GBX Racing team of Alex Pratt (right) and Miles Jennings will be ready to go for next month’s Great Lakes Grand Prix in Indiana. Photo courtesy/copyright James Gilbert/Powerboat P1.
Pratt purchased the MTI catamaran, which is powered by Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines, through Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo. The full-service MTI, Sunsation and Velocity dealership handled rigging the 45-footer with its turbocharged quad-cam four-valve mills, which are spec for Class 1.
The team will be based out of Southwest Michigan and Naples, Fla. The youngest racer in the Class 1 ranks, the 27-year old Pratt will continue in his throttleman role and Jennings will stick with driving.
The new team and its raceboat will debut at the Great Lakes Grand Prix (Aug. 4-7) in Michigan City, Ind., which is the third race of the Class 1 series.
“Good Boy Vodka and XINSURANCE have expanded our partnership into offshore powerboat racing where the aim is to provide a unique racing experience at each Class 1 event and attract more young people,” said Pratt in a press release from Powerboat P1/P1 Offshore, which is producing the Class 1 series. “Class 1 is the summit of the sport with the best boats, best drivers and the best equipment in the world, and Powerboat P1’s international TV broadcast deals and live streaming take the racing into fans’ homes worldwide.”
The GBX Racing MTI will be dressed in the colors of its two primary backers.
Though the 345 Racing catamaran is being repaired from damages sustained earlier this month in qualifying during the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, its Class 1 future is undetermined.
Added Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of Powerboat P1, in the release, “The pairing of Alex and Miles is an exciting combination, with the youngest racer in the championship alongside a driver who started his powerboat career in the 1970s and has racing in his blood. Miles’ titles include five-times world champion and 12-times British champion, and Alex is determined that GBX Racing will make its mark across the rest of the season.”