During the recent St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Southwest Florida, nine Super Stock-class team owners met to discuss the future—immediate and farther-reaching—of power and propulsion for the class. Starting next season, Mercury Racing’s naturally aspirated, four-stroke 300R outboard engine will be a power option for team in the thriving Super Stock ranks.
Significant change is in the air for offshore racing’s burgeoning Super Stock catamaran class. Photos from the 2021 St. Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“The class voted unanimously to allow them starting in 2022—in a 20-inch stock configuration—in addition to the (Mercury Racing) 300XS outboard platform we’re currently using,” said Ryan Beckley, the Super Stock class-representative. “Some teams have already ordered them.”
For the foreseeable future, the current two-stroke, 300XS outboards will remain a power option for the class.
“There’s no timetable for phasing them out,” said Beckley. “Both the cost and production will deter some teams, including my own, from switching over. It’s a $70,000 swing that will require some major re-rigging.”
The vote followed a presentation on the 300R V-8 outboard platform by Stuart Halley, Mercury Racing’s general manager.
“We met with the Super Stock-class team owners in St. Pete to make sure there was a clear and consistent understanding of the performances differences between the current 300XS modified outboard and our stock 300R HD CMS outboard,” he said. “Our main goals were to help provide a path to future class success and to not fragment the class. There are slight performance and weight differences between the two outboards that should offset and make them similar in performance, but with the 300R offering more reliability and running on pump fuel. This allows the owners to convert to the new technology at their own pace.”
Super Stock-class teams will have their choice of running four-stroke 300R or two-stroke 300XS outboard engines from Mercury Racing next season.
In a more immediate move, the Super Stock-class team owners in St. Pete voted—7-2—to allow Mercury Racing CNC cleaver propellers as an option starting with Roar Offshore Fort Myers Beach October 7-9, the final race of the second-year American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series. Following last year’s inaugural Offshore At The Ozarks event in Central Missouri, the class voted 9-2 to eliminate CNC props for the 2022 season.
“Gary Ballough (the owner of the FJ Propeller team) and I were against bring them back because of the cost, but the other seven teams voted in favor of it,” said Beckley. “We also voted to eliminate the propeller-claiming rule.”
Teams that don’t currently have the re-allowed CNC cleaver wheels have already begun ordering them from the Fond du Lac, Wis., company.
Said Halley, “We’re very excited that the teams approved our CNC cleaver props for the series, starting with Fort Myers Beach event next month.”
Brett Manire, the co-owner of Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., and the Super Stock-class team it fields, was delighted with both the Mercury Racing 300R and CNC cleaver propeller moves.
“We are extremely excited to be able to race the products that we sell to the consumer,” he said.
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