After back-to-back race weekends in Michigan and Indiana, the American Motorboat Association Offshore National Championship Series returns to Florida September 2-4 with the Saint Petersburg Grand Prix presented by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. The P1 Offshore-produced contest is the sixth of eight races in the APBA series, and the four weekends between the Aug. 7 event on Lake Michigan and the upcoming contest on Tampa Bay give competitors a much-needed break to refresh/fix their equipment and the time to take care of their business at home.
The Jackhammer team holds a regular season point lead in the Super Stock category. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Pictures.
While the current boat counts in Class 1, the Super Cat and Super Stock rankings are maintained, the time away from the racetrack for the teams has proven to be beneficial for the second year event. These classes are on track for their biggest regular season attendance yet, according to their officials.
Team 222 Offshore Australia picked up their first victory in the eight races of the Class 1 World Championship Series in Michigan City, Indiana earlier this month.
Class 1 representative Steve Curtis said there could be as many as seven teams, but likely five, in the Saint Petersburg mix. The usual suspect Chocolate Husky, 222 Off Australia, Good boy Vodka/XASSURANCE and JBS-Racing the teams are committed and Defalco Team is set to debut the 2022 season at the Southwest Florida event. Plans for the St. Pete race are unconfirmed, he added, for the Lucas/E3 oil but by the time the green flag flies, there could be a “new” Class 1 team on the racetrack. (Curtis declined to provide additional details on that team.)
With his victory at the Great Lakes Grand Prix, Graydel has won two checkered flags in the Super Cat class so far this season.
With Graydel, Justice League, AlcoholSplit, CON M, Pro-Floors Racing, Offshore racing SV, Team 360/Dramatized offshore racing and WHM Motorsports engaged, fans can expect to see eight Super Cat teams vying for honors at the likely flat-water racetrack. It’s the word of CON M team owner/accelerator and class rep Tyler Miller.
“And we have a close points battle in the Super Cat, so this race really means a lot to multiple teams,” Miller said.
For the Justice League cockpit duo of Don Urfer and Richard Davis, the race will be the second of their Super Cat rookie season. The St. Pete contest will be the third race – technically speaking – for fellow Super Cat class recruits Will and Tina Rodgers from Team 360as they participated in the season opener of the APBA series and the unauthorized freshman LuminSea Miami Powerboat Races, which were canceled for various reasons.
Unseen in the APBA series since the season opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Team 360/Dramatized Offshore Racing’s Will and Tina Rodgers plan to return to action in St. Petersburg. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Take 2 sensational photos.
The accelerator for CELSIUS team and Super Stock class representative Floridian Ryan Beckley said his class is looking at its highest attendance yet this season with 12 teams likely to head to the racetrack. Join the usual suspects of Great East Construction, CELSIUS, CMR Roofing and construction, Jackhammer, PLC, Nautical performance center/FASS, PlayTradez, Steele Industries, Allen Team Lawn Care and Landscaping and S-39 will be Atlas and (in his first race of the season) Wicked motorboats.
Editor’s note: Fans can enjoy all the action from the Saint Petersburg Grand Prix on September 4 live on the P1 Offshore Facebook page, from 10 o’clock
Nailing the Setup at the PlayTradez Great Lakes Grand Prix
Super Stock rides the St. Clair River Classic
Fireworks over the water at Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix
Home cooking: M CON, Steele and more victorious at the 2022 Lake Race
Leaving no doubt: APBA National Championship Series opens with a bang in Cocoa Beach