, Ind., Mike Stancombe has decided it’s time to put his boat racing skills to the test and run alongside the best tunnel boat racers in the country.
Peppers Racing throttleman Mike Stancombe is ready to dust off the tunnel boat he purchased last year and go race with the US F1 Powerboat Tour.
Last June I checked in with Stancombe—known in offshore racing circles as the Peppers Racing throttleman who competes alongside his father, George—after seeing on Facebook that he purchased a tunnel boat from Mercury (read the story). A year later—and another Maple City Grand Prix race—the Indianapolis resident is ready to line up a complete outboard engine for his new ride and hit the course.
“I was out there holding the boat for Wade, and right when they took off I was like man, I gotta do this,” Stancombe said. “If everything goes smooth, we could splash the boat in six weeks or so. I’d like to be ready to race in Canada (Regates de Valleyfield, July 11-13), but if not, it’ll be the next race.”
Although he’s aiming to compete in F1, Stancombe isn’t sure if he’ll race in F2 as well. He’s still getting his head around the rulebook and the many nuances of the sport, which is quite different than running a twin-engine 36-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran around an offshore course.
“I’m a boat racer so at least I have that going for me,” said Stancombe, who did some kneel-down outboard racing when he was a kid. “I might not be any good at it, but I’m never going to know unless I try. I have tons of tools, parts and other equipment, plus I know some of the best outboard builders in the business. I’m going to do my homework and see how it goes. If I don’t like it—or I’m not good at it—I can always walk away from it. I won’t be out that much, right?”
Stancombe said he’ll run under the Peppers banner—unless he finds a sponsor—in the US F1 series, which races next in Bay City, Mich., (June 27-29). He added that he isn’t going to race the Peppers offshore boat this season with his father. He didn’t rule out the possibility of throttling another team’s boat this year though.