Five-time national champion Tim Seebold led from start to finish in his NGK Spark Plugs-sponsored Seebold tunnel boat but not without drama as the Osage Beach, Mo., driver came home the winner after 30 laps at the US F1 Powerboat Tour’s season opener in LaPorte, Ind., on Sunday.
Tim Seebold won the US F1 opener in LaPorte, Ind., on Sunday. All photos courtesy Paul Kemiel/PaulKemielPhotographics.com
On a cool and wet afternoon at the third annual Maple City Grand Prix in LaPorte, Seebold received constant pressure from longtime rival Terry Rinker, the AMSOIL/Rinker Racing driver from Tampa, Fla., who won the first two Maple City Grand Prix races in 2013 and 2014. The two drivers carved their way through the biggest F1 field in years as 22 competitors took to the one-mile six-pin circuit on Stone Lake in front of thousands of race fans.
Seebold earned pole position by out dueling the four-time defending series champion in three 10-lap heats that would determine the starting grid, all of which took place on Sunday due to inclement weather.
“Despite the bad weather, it was a real good event,” said Seebold, who told speedonthewater.com he will be showcasing the NGK boat at this weekend’s Lake Race in his hometown. “It was a busy day with all of the heats and the final on the same day. Our team was happy to come away with the win especially after last year when we led all the way into the last corner and broke a prop and finished second. To start the season this way was nice for the whole crew—they’ve been working their tails off getting everything ready.”
Check out the slideshow above for a few more images from the US F1 2015 season opener.
Rinker, who seemed satisfied with the second-place finish, said his team will be ready for the second race of the season—the Bay City River Roar (June 26-28) on the Saginaw River in Bay City, Mich.
“We can’t win every event, but we will make sure we turn the tide in Bay City,” Rinker said in the US F1 press release. “It is less than a month away and now we have to play catch up in the title even though the season just started. We’ll be ready in Michigan.”
Third-place finisher Chris Fairchild in his Mercury Racing DAC hull from Italy finished third—a half a lap behind—to bring home his 27th career podium. Taking fourth was Rinker’s son, Rob, who put in a solid run in only his fourth career start to finish ahead of Tennessee driver Jeff Shepherd. Canadian Mark Major took sixth in the Jenkinson Racing Moore-built boat made in France as he introduced the new craft to its first race in North America.
Check out the full release on the US F1 site.