For Supercat-class veterans Billy Mauff and Jay Muller of the WHM Motorsports team, Michigan City, Ind.—the home of the Great Lakes Grand Prix—has been a charmed venue. In 2017 and 2018 when the event was produced by Super Boat International, they finished first ahead of ultra-competitive fields. And that’s exactly what they did again today in Michigan City, the fifth stop in the six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1.
For the third year in a row, WHM Motorsports claimed a checkered flag at the race in Michigan City, Ind. All photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix (click image to enlarge).
From the early moments of the 10-lap race on the 5.5-mile course, Mauff and Muller took the lead in their 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran powered by 750-hp Sterling Engines and never let it go. They were followed by Grant Bruggemann and Wayne Valder in Pro Floors Racing and Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson in Performance Boat Center—both MTI catamarans. And despite a few hard pushes from the Pro Floors team, that was exactly how they finished.
“The boat was set up perfectly,” said Muller, who throttles with Mauff handling the driving duties. “To win three years in a row at one of our favorite venues is just amazing.”
Today’s races featured reversals and continuations of fortune across several classes. On the reversal side, the Super Vee Extreme-class team of Steve Miklos and Steve Fehrmann in Sun Print notched its first win of the season. Known as a rough-water team, Miklos and Fehrmann found the calm-water speed they needed to separate themselves from Marker 17 Marine and Boatfloater.com, which finished second and third, within a few laps.
“Working with Faro Tecnologies again we found some performance gains that we are pretty happy with,” said Miklos. “Scott Porta did a pretty massive overhaul of our hull bottom in the off season. The boat is turning really well. We used to have a really narrow performance window in flat-water races. Now, that window is a little wider.
“We are not known as a calm-water team so we were really happy with this win,” he added. “We’ve had a little bit of a dry spell this season.”
On the continuation of good fortune, Nick Scafidi notched his second Super Stock-class win of the series in Shadow Pirate. Running solo in his 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran, his first series victory came during last weekend’s St. Clair River Classic in Michigan. (Scafidi also notched a win at the OPA Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix in New Jersey, but that contest was not part of the APBA series.)
On an even stronger roll in the Pro Stock Vee class, driver Brit Lilly and Kevin Smith earned their fourth checkered flag in a row today in their LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness. (They took second place in the APBA series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla.) The Maryland-based duo led in Michigan City from start to finish.
“I would say we nailed the setup for the first two laps,” Lilly said. “But I don’t know what it was, maybe rollers from pleasure boats or something, but it got a little sketchy after that. We were hanging on for dear life.”
Check out the slideshow above for more action from today’s competition at the Grand Lakes Grand Prix.
No such good fortune was to be had for Lily and Smith in the Super Vee-class contest, which ran in the final race of the day with the Class One fleet of the Miss GEICO, 222 Offshore Racing and Victory teams. As they have in every Super Vee-class contest this season, Ed Smith and Anthony Smith took the checkered flag in the Instigator By Knucklehead Racing Fountain.
In the Class One contest, Australian Darren Nicholson and Giovanni Carpitella dominated in their 222 Offshore 41-foot Victory catamaran, eventually stretching out a 10-second lead over second-place finisher Miss GEICO. (Both 222 Offshore and Miss GEICO almost lapped Victory, which reportedly struggled with handling problems throughout the race.) The 222 Offshore team’s Michigan City win was its second victory of the season—the first was at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix in July in Southwest Florida.
Editor’s note: For complete results as they become available visit the OPA website.
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Great Lakes Grand Prix: Taking (Super) Stock In Michigan City
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Photo Essay: Miss GEICO Gutted
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St. Clair River Classic Gets Major Sponsor In The St. Clair Inn
Pumped At Mid-Season: OPA And P1 Leaders Chime In
APBA Offshore Championship Series: A Mid-Season Look
Another Victory For Miss GEICO
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