With just a little more than two weeks to go before the first race of the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships Nov. 6-13 in Key West, Fla., the Superboat-class STIHL team’s new Sterling Performance engines arrived late yesterday afternoon at Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla. Grant Bruggemann, the owner of the noted rigging outfit and the throttlemen/team manager for STIHL, and his crew finished the installation of the 750- to 800-hp engines in the team’s Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran shortly before noon today and started them for the first time.
Bruggemann and company were ready to get started on the job as soon as the engines arrived. “We already had everything cleaned, the engine mounts and headers and everything else, and ready to go,” he said. “Everything went well when we fired them up ‘on the hose.’ Tomorrow the boat will go to the warehouse and Friday morning we’ll do some testing.”
Driver Jake Noble and the entire STIHL crew will join Bruggemann for Friday’s test sessions at an undisclosed location.
“There are some things, like making sure the sea pumps suck enough water, that we can’t check on the hose,” he said. “Jake and I will do some testing, and there are some things we want to try setup wise. Plus, we’ll get some more time in the cockpit together. If everything shakes down well, we’ll get the boat all prettied up and travel down to Key West.”