Despite the current sanctioning issues between the American Power Boat Association and the Offshore Powerboat Association around the upcoming Great Lakes Grand Prix presented by XINSURANCE, the August 4-6 race in Michigan City, Ind., will attract a robust fleet in the spec classes. The Lake Michigan event was not included on the 2023 APBA Offshore National Championship Series when it was released last November, though it was listed as part of the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series.
The Super Stock class is likely to produce the biggest fleet of any category—spec or Bracket—in Michigan City, Ind., this weekend. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The Super Cat and Super Stock classes also had the Offshore Powerboat Association-produced Michigan City contest on their internal owners schedules for the 2023 season.
The Super Cat class will have nine entries if current plans hold. In an even larger showing, 11 Super Stock teams are planning to compete this weekend—and they’ll be headed to Sheboygan, Wis., the following weekend for the Midwest Challenge event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mercury Racing.
SV Offshore Racing is one of nine Super Cat-class teams rolling into Michigan, Ind., this weekend.
So, too, will the six Class 1 teams reportedly headed to Indiana this weekend. Assuming APBA requirements for a one-off special sanction are met, the Class 1 teams will score UIM points. Per last week’s APBA proposal, no APBA points will be awarded in any of the spec or Bracket classes.
“No one in our class is worried about the APBA points for Michigan City,” said Ryan Beckley, the Super Stock-class representative who throttles the CELSIUS raceboat with owner/driver Chris Hopgood. “We are still doing our own class points.”
But the Great Lakes Grand Prix, the third of five Class 1 events and six races as there will be Saturday and Sunday competition at the Midwest Challenge, is crucial for the series points battle. The 222 Offshore Australia and Huski Ice Spritz teams are tied for first place, each with 35 points. Between the Great Lakes Grand Prix and Midwest Challenge, 60 Class 1 points will be on the line in back-to-back weekends.
Currently tied for first place in the UIM Class 1 World Championship Series, the 222 Offshore Australia and Huski Ice Spritz teams have their seasons on the line at the Great Lakes Grand Prix and the Midwest Challenge to follow.
“We know who our fight is with, and we know we have a good overall package,” said Darren Nicholson off the 222 Offshore Australia team in a press release from Powerboat P1. “Conditions will always determine what setup to run but a rough race would add another dimension and make it even more interesting.”
Added throttleman Steve Curtis of the Huski Ice Spritz team, who will run with driver Brit Lilly this weekend, in the release, “This is a super important part of the season coming up. Three races a week apart and 60 points up for grabs. The championship can be won or lost in that time.”
Like the other 450R Factory Stock teams, TS Motorsports has two events on the books in as many weekends.
The only spec-classes lacking big fleets for the weekend are Mod V, where unless things change by this weekend only the Boatfloater.com and Shocker teams will compete, and 450R Factory Stock, which currently has three teams committed to being there.
“Super Stock, Class 1 and 450R Factory Stock have the Wisconsin race the weekend after so it makes sense for those classes to be in Michigan City,” explained Stephen Kildahl of the Boatfloater.com team. “We have a good local sponsor up there and we have to run eight races this year per our sponsor contracts, so we’re going.
“Hopefully Michigan City makes it back on the national schedule next year because it’s a great site,” he added.
The M CON cockpit duo of Tyler Miller and Myrick Coil will compete in the Class 1 and Super Cat ranks this weekend.
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