With a couple of new venues and a handful of new faces, the US Formula 1 Powerboat Tour opened its season on Lucas Lake at the new Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., last weekend. Despite the changes, the formidable veteran driver Terry Rinker of the AMSOIL/Rinker Racing team finished atop the podium once again adding another checkered flag to his large collection.
Rinker, who won all three heats in Group B’s qualifying while longtime competitor Tim Seebold won all three heats in Group A, ran a fast, yet smart race to finish ahead of second- and third-place finishers Brian Venton and Jeff Shepherd. Seebold, who led for the first 15 laps before losing the cowling on his NGK/Seebold Sports boat, which forced a restart, was unable to finish the race when his boat would not start after the mishap.
“We knew it was going to be a tightly confined course since it’s only 390 feet from bank to bank, so we spent a lot of time preparing and strategizing to make sure we stayed patient yet close to the action,” said Rinker, who is already looking forward to the second race of the season in LaPorte, Ind., in two weeks (May 31-June 2) since he grew up less than an hour from the venue. “Fortunately everybody drove really heads up and we had a good race. The competition was solid, too. Tim (Seebold) had a little bit of steam on us so we knew we needed to stay close and hope he made a mistake.”
Rinker said he expects the racing to be action-packed all season and he wouldn’t be surprised to see some new faces atop the podium, along with the mainstays like Seebold and Chris Fairchild.