The up-and-down ride that began three years ago for Super Stock-class racer Albert Penta is coming to an end as the Connecticut-based Phase 5 team owner is exiting the sport. All of the team’s assets, including its 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran that began its life as a raceboat dubbed Killer Bee, currently are for sale.
Freshly painted and re-rigged with Mercury Racing 300R outboard engines and ready for action, the Super Stock-class Phase 5 raceboat is for sale.
Several factors convinced Penta, who drove the 32-footer with New Jersey’s Jay Muller throttling, to leave the sport. But first and foremost, the decision was based on economics.
“Despite that I’ve interviewed a lot of interested sponsors willing to put in $3,000 to $4,000 per race, that doesn’t put a dent in what it costs the teams in our class to compete at eight race sites and then in Key West,” he explained. “Just to break even, you need three to four times that amount per race—and that’s if you don’t have an incident on the racecourse, which seems commonplace in our class and adds another $100,000.
“For a high-tiered sponsor, $10,000 per race is the number,” he continued. “And it still takes a lot of PR man-hours to entertain and properly support that sponsor.”
Penta also said he’s struggled with mid-season rule changes voted in by Super Stock-class team owners, and those changes played a role in his departure. He believes rule changes should happen annually before each season, not after the season begins.
“Teams like Phase 5 take rules seriously and proactively follow by the book months in advance to achieve and follow sanctioning specifics,” he said. “It takes huge commitment and work that can’t be changed race to race when the class tries to overrule a sanctioning body.
“So it’s back to Porsche racing for now,” he added. “The Porsche Club of America has the structure and safety I’m more interested in at this point in my career.”
Phase 5 began its offshore racing life as Killer Bee. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
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