The boat that stole the show at the 2012 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—Greg Olson’s 33-foot catamaran from Eliminator Boats that he ran 192 mph to win the Top Gun award—is set to return to this year’s top-speed event, which takes place in less than two weeks (Aug. 23-24) at Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach, Mo.
The 33-foot Eliminator catamaran that Greg Olson (pictured) drove up to 192 mph to win the 2012 Top Gun Trophy at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is expected to be driven by its new, Tim Pivonka, at next week’s 26th annual Shootout. Photo courtesy Greg Olson
But this time around the Eliminator won’t be driven by Olson, the Nebraska boater who was a regular participant in the Shootout in Missouri as well as the speed runs that are part of the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Instead, the boat’s new owner—Tim Pivonka who is originally from Colorado but now resides in Lake Havasu—is planning to bring the catamaran to Lake of the Ozarks next week and compete in the Shootout for the fourth time.
According to Pivonka, who has raced his open-bow 33 Daytona from Eliminator powered by twin 540-cubic-inch, 3.3-liter Whipple-supercharger-equipped engines (roughly 1,000 hp each) at Lake of the Ozarks (in 2013 he won his class at 125 mph) and Desert Storm (he hit 120 mph in 2014), he’s not looking to compete for the Top Gun or even run much faster than 170 mph, for that matter.
“This is my first real fast boat,” said Pivonka, who will have the builder of his previous engines, Todd Thompson of Todd’s Performance Specialties in Lake Havasu, with him in the boat for the Shootout. “I’m hoping we can lay down 170 mph or so with the setup we’re going with. This is going to be new for me, so we’re definitely going to ease into it and get a good feel for the boat.”
The 33-footer, which Olson sold complete with the 588-cubic-inch Whipple-supercharged GT Performance Engineering engines that pushed the boat past 190 mph, is currently at GT Performance in Upland, Calif. The engines, according to Pivonka, are slightly detuned and will utilize 100-octane fuel rather than the E85 fuel used to get the engines up over 1,800 hp apiece for Olson’s run in 2012.
Gary Teague, owner of GT Performance, expects the boat to be tested on Wednesday and then it will receive some final preparation before it leaves for Missouri where it will be on display at the docks in front of Captain Ron’s over the weekend.
“I’m excited—I think it’s great that the boat is going to be out there again,” said Olson, who is planning to attend next week’s event. “I’m sure everyone is going to be curious about how Tim’s going to do out there. I’m certainly going to be there to support him. He’s such a nice guy. I’ve known him for many years. If he ends up catching the bug and sticks with it, I think that boat has even more in it if he ever decides to go with the ethanol setup.”