Outstanding Formula One tunnel-boat driver Shaun Torrente, a key ingredient in the success of the recently disbanded Qatar Team that competed on the Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O circuit, is headed for domestic offshore racing action with Chris Schoenbohm in Smart Marine Service, a 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran that competes in Super Boat International‘s Stock class. Sharing the cockpit with Stock-class veteran Gary Ballough, Schoenbohm earned a world championship last year at the three-race SBI finale in Key West, Fla.
Later this month, Torrente and Schoenbohm will attempt to reprise Schoenbohm’s 2014 season-opening victory in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in Smart Marine Service. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“Shaun is such a hard worker—he’s made the most out of every opportunity he’s had,” said Schoenbohm, who will handle the driving chores in his 32-footer with Torrente throttling. “I am looking forward to racing—and working—with him.”
Torrente and Schoenbohm will race together for the first time at the upcoming and typically rough SBI season-opener May 15-17 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. (Schoenbohm and former teammate Ryan Beckley took first place in Stock class at last year’s Cocoa Beach event.) Torrente said he is committed to running all SBI races this year that don’t conflict with a pending commitment to another F1 team. He’s confident that his prior experience will lend itself well to throttling the Stock-class cat.
“I actually raced in X-Cat with Mike Seebold four or five years ago,” said Torrente, who lives in Cape Coral, Fla. “We did three races in the Yachts Doug Wright. I also have a lot of seat time and set-up experience with 28- and 32-foot Skaters.
In addition to extensive tunnel-boat racing experience, Torrente (left) logged seat time in a 32-foot Doug Wright cat with fellow tunnel-boat veteran Mike Seebold (click image to enlarge).
“I am going from a 16-foot boat with 400 hp to a 32-foot boat with 500 hp,” he added.
Torrente is particularly pleased that the Florida-based SBI circuit will keep him close to home and away for weekends rather than weeks. He’s also thrilled to be working closely with Schoenbohm on his Phoenix 32 XCat catamaran project, particularly when it comes to creating CNC billet parts for the cat via his company Paragon Performance & Machine.
“I was talking about it all with my wife, and she said that with everything that happened with the Qatar Team it was ‘like having a death in the family,’ ” Torrente said. “We agreed that we really need to take advantage of some of the opportunities we worked for during the last 20 years. That’s really what it came down to—Chris approached me with a great opportunity to work on his project and race with him. Chris is a go-getter, like me. He’s made a lot out of little.”
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