In its only pass on the three-quarter-mile Lake of the Ozarks Shootout course last weekend, JBS Racing, a 42-foot MTI catamaran that is powered by two naturally aspirated 1,100-hp V-16 engines and competes in the current Class 1 World Championship Series, reached 113 mph. For everyone involved, from team owner/driver Jeff Stevenson and throttleman Micheal Stancombe to the Detroit-based Sixteen Power engine-building team, the result at the Central Missouri waterway event was disappointing.
With an engine issue dogging it all the way, the JBS Racing team made a single pass last weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
For Shootout fans with even a passing knowledge of high-performance powerboats, a 113-mph result from an MTI cat with that kind of power was a head-scratcher.
“We had been chasing a mis-fire on one engine all week,” explained Tom Robinson of Sixteen Power. “After looking at all the usual suspects—coils, wires, plugs, injectors and the calibration—we finally found that the ECU (electronic control unit) was dumping fuel into four cylinders, ignoring the calibration. That was not something we had ever experienced and not something we could fix in the field.”
According to Robinson, the top-speed result was “about what you’d expect with one engine at 75-percent power.” Given their known engine woes, the team opted to keep the extra 500 pounds the cat carries to make its designated minimum weight—11,750 pounds—for Class 1 competition.
“There wasn’t any point in removing it with the bad ECU,” Robinson said.
Stancombe, who had hoped to see a 130-mph result, said the power loss was “very noticeable” from the throttleman’s seat.
“It felt really slow,” he said. “One motor was lagging and the other was trying to pull us through. I knew immediately that we were not going to make my goal.”
The Shootout outcome was disappointing for the entire group. But the experience, according to Robinson, was a valuable part of the engine-proving process.
“This is why we are racing, to flush out problems and fix them,” he said.
Editor’s note: JBS Racing is currently holding third place in the Class 1 World Championship Series produced by P1 Offshore. The next Class 1 contest is the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, September 2-4, in Florida.
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