Starting tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., offshore racing returns to Tampa Bay for the first time since 2004 with the St. Petersburg Grand Prix produced by the P1 Offshore group. The current registration sheet, though still being updated as teams arrive today in the Southwest Florida city, has 35 teams spread across 10 classes in the mix.
Though SV Racing will be running solo in the Class 1 ranks, there will be plenty of fierce competition in tomorrow’s St. Petersburg Grand Prix. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Viewers can enjoy the action live on the P1 Offshore Facebook page, beginning—as noted above—at 10:30 a.m. with the Super Stock class. If the schedule holds, that contest will be followed by the Class 1, Super Cat and Bracket 100 and 200 classes at noon, the Mod V and Bracket 300, 400 and 500 classes at 1:30 p.m. and the Stock V and Bracket 600 and 700 classes at 3 p.m.
Here’s a quick look at some of the predictive highs and low for tomorrow’s races.
• At it has been all season, Super Stock will be the non-bracketed class to watch with seven canopied catamarans currently registered to compete. Though the Performance Boat Center team is looking strong—based on current point standings—to claim the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship title in its class, it’s far from guaranteed.
• In the Bracket class ranks, the 500 category continues its strong competition roll with six teams in tomorrow’s field. Of note, the Shoreline Plumbing team has had a dominant season to date.
• Though the Bracket 700 class has just three teams registered, one of them will include Bill Langheim, the 68-year-old father of Reese Langheim, the owner and driver of the Super Stock-class Jackhammer team. He’ll be running with Jackhammer throttleman In a true family affair, Maldonado and Langheim will be squaring off against Julian Maldonado (Ricky’s son) and Brian Guy in the Bracket 700 Jackhammer boat as well as Micheal Stancombe and his son, Dominic, in Elias’s Nightmare.
Thanks to his son, Bill Langheim (left, with Ricky Maldonado) will be able to cross an item of his bucket list tomorrow.
Said Reese Langheim, “It was on my dad’s bucket list—to run one race—and we’re excited to make it happen.”
• The Mod V class has six teams registered. Though the Stock V fleet has exactly half that number, one of them—The Firm Racing—is new to the canopied, single-engine V-bottom class.
• With the Miss GEICO team’s exit from the sport, SV Racing—ousted from the Super Cat ranks this season for its Mercury Racing 860 engines—will run solo in Class 1. Said team co-owner and throttleman Vinnie Diorio, “I just look at it as more seat time.”
• In its toughest season in recent years, the Super Cat class is down to two boats—M CON and Chariots of Fire—for tomorrow’s contest. The WHM Motorsports team is out as owner/driver Billy Mauff is dealing with massive property damage at his home from the recent storms in the Northeast. Though the Canada-based CJ Grant/Graydel team had reportedly planned to compete, it opted out early this week.
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