Given all the changes and uncertainty at the organizer/race producer level, it’s been a particularly strange and challenging off-season for most offshore racing teams planning to compete this year. Not the least of these is the Pro Floors Racing team of New Zealand-based owner/driver Wayne Valder and throttleman/rigger Grant Bruggemann of Bradenton, Fla., which plans to compete in the six-race American Power Boat Associaton Offshore Championship Series as well as in Race World Offshore November contests in Key West, Fla.. Repaired from damage sustained during an accident at the 2018 Super Boat International National Championship in Clearwater, Fla., the team’s 42-foot MTI catamaran had to be completely re-rigged at Bruggemann’s shop—Grant’s Signature Racing—in Bradenton.
Bruggemann put the repaired and re-rigged Pro Floors Racing MTI raceboat through its first test session yesterday on Sarasota Bay, and he was delighted with its performance (click image to enlarge). And he’s back out there again today.
“It’s basically a new boat, inside and out,” said Bruggemann.
As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, Pro Floors Racing is going with twin 750-hp Jon Kasse Racing engines this season. With the installation and rigging of those naturally aspirated engines complete, Bruggemann tested the boat for the first time yesterday on Sarasota Bay. And he liked what he saw.
“Kasse did a great job engineering the engines—Cliff Moore at Kasse is really up to speed on everything,” said Bruggemann, who will be joined Friday morning by Valder—arriving from New Zealand tomorrow night— at this weekend’s APBA series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla. “When we ran yesterday, it all looked really, really good as far as the Racepak data was concerned. I have so much previous data from all the other Super Cats I’ve rigged and raced, so I have a lot of good comparative information to work from.
“Whether they are hydraulic, electric or whatever, we are always trying to upgrade systems in our boats,” he continued. “Whether it’s something as simple as a battery or a seat harness, we’re always trying new products that we hope will work better for our team. None of it is top secret, it’s just a matter of paying attention to what’s going on in the performance industry. We have a good group of people around us now and our main goal is to win races.”
Bruggemann said that racing in Key West always was part of the team’s 2019 plans, regardless of which organization—the Offshore Powerboat Association, Race World Offshore or Super Boat International—ended up with the five-year contract to produce those contests.
“Wayne has said since the start that we are going to Key West,” he added. “Winning races is our main goal, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about having good times—the people in our class are great and we all hang out together. Wayne is all about that, too.”
Bruggemann said he will test the Pro Floors Racing catamaran one more time today before hauling it to Cocoa Beach tomorrow. He and Valder will practice together on Saturday’s in advance of Sunday’s Super Cat-class race.