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SV Racing Rigging Outerlimits Cat With Mercury Racing 860 Engines

Never afraid to follow his own path, Vinnie Diorio, the co-owner of the SV Racing team, is having his 39-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats catamaran set up with twin Mercury Racing 860 engines. Team crew chief Gary Swanson and technicians Kyle Micke and Nick Kieffer currently are installing the naturally aspirated, quad-cam four-valve fuel-injected engines—with guidance from Mercury Racing’s Mike Griffiths and Johnny Bauer—at Sweetwater Performance Center and Marina in Oshkosh, Wis.

Equipped with 860-hp engines from Mercury Racing, SV Racing will run in the Class 1 ranks this season. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“The old engines are out and we’ve been re-rigging for the 860s,” Swanson said. “It’s pretty exciting now that we have one down in the hull. We’re hoping to be finished in three to four weeks.”

“We should be in the water by late April,” Diorio said. “We’ll do a little shakedown run here in Wisconsin and then it’s off to Lake X in Florida.”

Frustration with the current carbureted, naturally aspirated spec-engine platform for the Supercat class led Diorio, a relative newcomer to the category, to make the conversion. But he is doing so without agreement, much less blessing—at least on the record— from the entire class. That means Diorio and his SV Racing team partner Simon Prevost will not be allowed to compete in the Supercat ranks this season.

Instead, they’ll run with the Class 1 raceboats. Steve Curtis, the throttleman for the Miss GEICO team and the spokesman for the category, is looking forward to having SV Racing in the Class 1 ranks.  

“We are going to be short of boats at the start of the season because the foreign competitors still can’t get here,” he said. “So to be honest he would be doing us a favor filling out the class—and he will need a place to race as the Supercat class voted to not have them race with them. So it’s a win-win situation for all involved.”

As for Diorio, he’s looking forward to running his 39-footer with Mercury Racing’s most technologically advanced engine package. (The boat also will have a completely new look, he said.)

“I want to focus on setting up the boat and picking propellers during race weekend, not screwing around with engines and hoping they’re going to hold up,” he said. “As racers in this class, that’s all we worry about—every time you head out for practice, you know you’re on borrowed time. Supercat motors last four of five races. If you put in 860s, you may be able to race four or five years without having to replace them. In the long run, it will be cheaper and more fun.”

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