In the space of roughly five weeks, the entire 2020 offshore racing season will be in the books. The Offshore Powerboat Association has managed to complete two events—the Crystal Coast Grand Prix in North Carolina and the Offshore At the Ozarks-Cat Edition in Missouri—and will return to the North Carolina venue of Morehead City to host its October 22-25 Crystal Coast World Championships. Like the Ozarks event, the OPA Worlds will feature two days of competition.
LPC team owner/driver Loren Peters will share the cockpit with SV Racing’s Vinnie Diorio in the upcoming OPA world championships in Morehead City, N.C. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
With that kind of time compression, team schedule conflicts are inevitable, which is why Supercat-class throttleman Vinnie Diorio of SV Racing will be sharing the cockpit of Super Stock-class LPC raceboat with driver/team owner Loren Peters. Mike Wright, the Missouri-based team’s throttleman, is out of the cockpit for Morehead City.
“It’s one of those things,” said Wright, who owns apartment complexes in the Lake of the Ozarks area and has a new acquisition pending. “We have a project we’re working on and as the owner of the company I need to be there.
“But we just hopped out of the boat and we have it running perfectly for Vinnie,” he added.
Quipped Peters, “When Mike first told me he couldn’t make it, I said, ‘First, we have to find someone short enough to fit in the boat.'”
“I trust Vinnie,” Peters said. “We’re hoping to get in the boat and run some laps on Thursday before the first race in Morehead City. Obviously, we don’t have as much power as the Supercats, which makes the turns even more important, but I think he’ll pick it up quickly.”
Neither Peters nor Wright is particularly tall. Nor is Diorio. All share a great sense of humor about their relatively diminutive stature.
“When Mike first told me he couldn’t make it, I said, ‘First, we have to find someone short enough to fit in the boat,’” Peters said, then laughed. “I think Vinnie is going to be great.”
Diorio is available because no Supercat-class teams have signed up for the upcoming event.
“I’m pretty excited to run one of them go-karts,” he said. “Loren and Mike tested on the Lake of the Ozarks today and Mike said he’s got the boat all dialed in for me.”
Peters and Wright finished third in Friday’s Offshore At The Ozarks contest in the 32-foot LPC Doug Wright catamaran. A setup change for Saturday’s race didn’t work out and they finished sixth.
“That’s the thing with setup changes, they’re always a gamble,” Wright said. “But we switched up a few things today and found more speed. We think it’s going to be perfect.”
With no Supercat-class teams committed to the North Carolina contest and less than two weeks to go, Diorio is free to step out of SV Racing and into LPC.
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Offshore At The Ozarks, Day 1: Where Dominance Meets Attrition
LPC Team Tests Rebuilt Super Stock-Class Doug Wright Catamaran
Wright Joins Peters To Throttle Wide Open Racing Super Stock Doug Wright