CMR Roofing, Shoreline Plumbing And More Prevail In St. Pete Grand Prix

With yesterday’s St. Petersburg Grand Prix, offshore motorboat racing returned to the southwest Florida city after a 17-year absence in fine style with 41 boats in the 10-class field. The action of the day included standout performances in the Super Stock and Mod V classes and more in front of thousands of fans, many of whom enjoyed the competition up close from the St. Petersburg public pier.

For true fans of the sport, St. Petersburg’s public pier was the best place to see all the action. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

The first race of the day was marked by a fierce battle in the Super Stock class. of the green flag, CMR Roofing throttle man Shaun Torrente and driver Eric Belisle set the early pace in their 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran. Hot on their story for the first half of the nine-lap race on the six-mile course was the jackhammer team cockpit duo of driver Reese Langheim and throttle man Ricky Maldonado in their 32-foot Victory cat.

Performance Boat Center throttle man Rusty Williams and driver Myrick Coil fought jackhammer second for several laps before overtaking them in their 32-foot Doug Wright cat. Williams and Coil gained ground in the last two laps CMR Roofing but ran out of time before a pass would have been possible.

CMR Roofing’s Shaun Torrente and Eric Belisle claimed victory in the ever-competitive Super Stock class.

Although the jackhammer team crossed the finish line in third and hitting the number 1 corner buoy on lap sixth earned them a penalty. Not only did that put Langheim and Maldonado in eighth place, it moved the Bad motorboats team of Mike Bethan and Todd DeFilipps to third place.

“We spent a lot of time last week getting the boat ready in hot and humid weather to make the necessary setup changes for this race,” said Torrente. “We stayed within our target lap times and concentrated on managing our race to wait and see Performance Boat Center.

Until they hit a buoy, Jackhammer’s Reese Langheim and Ricky Maldonado headed for a third-place finish in the Super Stock class.

“We have great spotters who have informed us about Performance Boat Centers position in the last few laps,” he continued. “I decided to push harder when we knew they were catching up so we didn’t have a stressful scenario on the last lap.”

The biggest crowd puller of the day came in the Mod V class with the home team Visit St. Pete/Clearwater V-bottom choked by Nick Imprescia and driven by Ian Morgan – a pair of talented and ambitious 20 year olds – who took their first win in their second race in the category. Imprescia and Morgan fended off a strong challenge from Team Punisher’s Charlie McCarthy and Anthony Silveria in the first round, as well as the ever-competitive veteran and sun print teams.

Newcomers to the Mod V class, Nick Imprescia and Ian Miller won one for the home team.

“The team gave us a great boat today and they deserve everything they got,” said Imprescia. “Ian did a great job at the wheel – I was really impressed with his driving today. To win our sponsor’s home race and deliver the first checkered flag for them and our team principal was very rewarding.”

With only the M CON and chariots of fire teams in the Supercat game, the class continued its season-long attendance deficit. But that didn’t stop both teams from racing hard and putting on a good show for the fans in their 11-lap game.

“The water conditions were definitely in our favor — 75 percent of this track was spinning, so we backed off accordingly, knowing only 25 percent of the race was going to be about speed on the straights,” said Tyler Miller, the owner and throttle operator of the M CON Skater Power Boats 388 catamaran sharing the cockpit – as he has all season – with driver Myrick Coil. “What a great place to get a checkered flag.”

As they have all season, Tyler Miller and Myrick Coil of the M CON team put on a show despite little competition.

Assigned to the Class 1 ranks so far this season before moving to Mercury Racing 860 engines instead of spec Supercat class power, SV Racing shared the course with M CON and chariots of fire.

“We are 800 pounds heavier than M CON, so they had the acceleration on us,” said Vinnie Diorio, who co-owns the 39-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats catamaran with driver Simon Prevost. “With the weight we have on board, there isn’t necessarily a performance advantage over the Supercat engines with our Mercury Racing 860s.

“Longevity is the advantage we have,” he added.

In the eight-lap Stock-V class competition, merciless team of Travis Pettko and Rob Hartmann lived up to its name and took the checkered flag for Shocker’s Chris Colson and Olivia Perry. Class newcomers Pete Riviero and Richard Garcia from The Firm/MSP Recovery Racing finished third.

The LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness cockpit clutch of driver Brit Lilly and throttle man Kevin Smith jumped out to a huge lead at the start of the Stock V race. But as they seemed to be all season in the 29-foot Extreme that Lilly built himself at his shop in Arnold, Maryland, a broken propeller blade put an early end to their race.

The Relentless team once again lived up to its name in the Stock V class race.

“We were left at the start because the boat wouldn’t plane and our engine went into Guardian mode four times,” said Hartmann, accelerating the throttle. merciless racing boat. “Once we got on the plane, we managed to get everyone in, including Brit, who unfortunately dropped out early.”

With 10 boats taking the green flag for the seven-lap race, the Bracket 500 class saw a major battle of attrition as only half of the fleet actually finished the race. But to no one’s surprise, the Sanitary on the coast team of driver Brent Appiarius and throttle man Joe Reilly continued their winning ways, taking first place for the hard-charging Bulletproof Racing and Team Woody outfits. Team Woody driver JJ Turk and throttle man Micheal Stancombe even crossed the finish line ahead of Appiarius and Reilly. But a top-speed breakout put them in third place behind the Bulletproof Racing entry piloted by George Ivey and throttled by Craig Belfatto.

Shoreline Plumbing (center) delivered another strong performance in the Bracket 500 class.

Although the seven-lap Bracket 700 class had only two teams on the track, drama was not lacking thanks to the delamination of the hull for the 21 boat jackhammer team boat throttled by Julian Maldonado and piloted by Brian Guy. The damage to the hull was enough for the boat to get water and forced Maldonado and Guy to immediately head to shore.

“I’m not sure if we hit anything or not,” said Julian Maldonado. “I noticed we started to get wet in the cockpit, and wetter over time, so I knew we had a problem. I tried to keep us on the plane to get back to the tap, but we had to stop to get some water pumps on the boat.”

The Bracket 700 class Jackhammer team had to leave early due to hull delamination that threatened to send the boat to the bottom of Tampa Bay.

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