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Powerboat P1 Expanding Stateside for 2010 Season

This one falls under the heading of “Intriguing News that Reached Me Too Late in the Day to Follow Up Completely,” but according to a press release, Powerboat P1 will “export” its racing series to the United States this season. To accomplish this goal, Powerboat P1 Management Ltd., has formed a North American subsidiary called Powerboat P1 USA.

“The United States market is critical to any multi-national company involved in motorsports marketing,” said Asif Rangoonwala, chairman of Powerboat P1, in the release. “We view participation in the USA as an essential element in our growth as a world championship and as a business.”    

According to the release, Powerboat P1 USA plans to work with the American Power Boat Association in sanctioning its events. Given the recent discussions between APBA officials and representatives of other domestic offshore racing associations regarding APBA sanctioning, the Powerboat P1 USA news is significant.  

 “The APBA represents 107 years of powerboat racing heritage, and is the oldest powerboat federation in the UIM,” said Rangoonwala.  “The APBA provides a high level of credibility to the sport, and we look forward to producing world-class events with its sanctioning.”  

“Powerboat P1 brings a respected level of professionalism to a series within the APBA,” said Weber. “As an APBA-sanctioned series, it will enhance the event value to local producers and to our current organizations.”    

The initial two-year plan for the P1 USA series includes three V-bottom classes. Powerboat P1 USA would then represent a sub-set of other existing classes offered within the APBA Offshore category, focusing on a limited number of classes for a proposed Powerboat P1 USA Continental Championship.  

Powerboat P1 USA also plans to work existing offshore racing organizations and event producers, which will retain their autonomy even under the APBA sanctioning umbrella—to more fully develop their regional races and lay the groundwork for joint productions of key race events in 2011.   

“I think we have a very unique opportunity to do what everybody has wanted to do for a long time,” said Martin Sanborn, director of North American operations for Powerboat P1 USA.  “I think we have an opportunity to unify the sport under a common banner— APBA. The racers just want to race. I talked to a racer the other day who said, ‘Why aren’t we just competing on the race course rather than having organizers competing for race sites?’”  

Stay tuned. I will stay on this story hard—count on it—starting with an in-depth interview with Sanborn that will appear on speedonthewater.com tomorrow.