After getting a taste of boat racing two years ago in his 40-foot MTI pleasure catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines at Lake Race on Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, Loren Peters of Kansas City, Mo., has decided to go all in this season, informing speedonthewater.com that he purchased the successful Super Stock-class Doug Wright 32-foot catamaran—the former FJ Propeller—from world champion racer Gary Ballough last week.
Veteran racer Gary Ballough sold the FJ Propeller 32-foot Doug Wright to Loren Peters, who plans to race it in the Super Stock class this season. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
In fact, Peters got to test drive the always-competitive canopied cat, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing OptiMax 300XS engines and most recently claimed the 2016 SBI world championship in Key West, Fla., with Ballough last Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He said he got some good seat time in the boat and that Ballough gave him great advice and walked him through everything about it.
“Gary is super experienced—he knows what he’s doing that’s for sure,” Peters said. “And he knows the boat like the back of his hand. He has everything set up turnkey; it’s completely race-ready. Gary also gave me a set of props and his playbook—his notebook with conditions and performances from every race he’s done in the boat. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation coming into such a competitive class like Super Stock.”
The only negative thing was that it rained the entire time Peters was with Ballough so the conditions weren’t great. Fortunately for Peters, he was on his way to the MTI Owners Fun to the Florida Keys (read the story) so his next few days helped him get over that.
Wide Open Racing—Peters’ 40-foot MTI—won the Class 2 race at the 2017 Lake Race in Central Missouri. Photo by Pete Boden
Peters, who joins CR Racing and Team Allen Lawn Care as the third Lake Ozarks-based offshore race team in the class, said he plans to compete in all six American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship series races produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1 groups. He hasn’t determined who will be driving with him yet, but once he does, he said the team is going to try to test every weekend leading up to the mid-May season opener.
He said the boat, which is going to be named Wide Open Racing, is sponsored by L Peters Construction and KC Tan, and that he’s also seeking out additional sponsors.
“Racing this boat is going to be such a blast,” said Peters, who also owns the former GC Motorsports canopied MTI Supercat raceboat that he had Upstate Powerboats in New York apply a custom paintjob to it in hopes of racing it as well in the near future. “None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for (MTI owner) Randy Scism. Randy knew how bad I wanted to race so he asked me what I thought about the FJ Propeller boat and I asked him what he thought about Super Stock. I said it looked fun, and he agreed 100 percent, so he connected me with Gary, who agreed to sell me the boat and guide me through getting used to driving it. The boat is on its way back to the lake now so we can start getting more familiar with it.”
At the end of last year it was reported that Randy Sweers was purchasing Ballough’s 32-footer to race this season. Obviously those plans changed, although Sweers hasn’t announced what his team has in store.
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