Two days of action packed racing took place at the HotelPlanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix produced by Suncoast Charities for Children. Conditions were testing on Saturday including lightning holds, but Sunday proved to be a perfect race day with exciting conditions out on the water. Lucy Nicandri, Festival Director said, “For over 34 years, this event has been at the heart of the racing and Sarasota community. I want to thank all our partners and sponsors for their support and help in making the event a success, we look forward to seeing everyone back again next year”
Saturday’s racing saw the Production class boats, P1 AquaX and P1 SuperStock racing.
The Production class boats saw Wix Filters take the win in P3, Perdition for the 2nd year running in P4 and Pump It in the five-boat field in P5 followed closely by local team Two Cruel with Daniel Racz and Craig Belfatto.
On Sunday in the Super Vee Lite class, Mr. Technology claimed first place with Sun Print taking second and Scott Free Racing rounding out the podium finishers. Steve Kildahl, throttleman of Scott Free Racing, has raced in every single one of the 34 years of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. Steve said “The event went really well. We lead for a couple laps but a clamp broke on the air tank with a lap & a half to go – but that is racing! We are happy with a 3rd.”
Gettel finished first in the Superstock 300 class, followed by Team Allen Lawn Care manned by Billy and Andrei Allen and FJ Propeller.
Miss GEICO, with legendary throttleman Steve Curtis and driver James Sheppard shone in the three-boat Unlimited class. The took victory over the two V-bottoms Twisted Metal and Lucas Oil/ Silverhook.
In the final race of the weekend the SuperCat class was stacked with a seven-boat field. The Cleveland Construction team of Grant Bruggemann and Ed Smith took the early lead but New Zealand-based Pro Floors Racing NZ-1, Chris Hanley and Wayne Valder, took the chequered flag. Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson in Performance Boat Centre chased the leaders till the last turn but could not catch them. Thottleman of the Pro floors, Chris Hanley stated, "Our biggest threat was Performance. Really the class is strong and any one of them could have taken the win. The conditions really suited the Pro Floors boat. We could not be happier with the way it performed."
The event was well supported by local and national sponsors including presenting sponsors Visit Sarasota and Sarasota County. P1 CEO, Azam Rangoonwala, said “It was a great weekend showcasing the very best of marine motorsport racing. Sarasota is a firm favorite on the P1 event calendar and all the racers enjoy taking part in this historic event. Many congratulations to Pro Floors and Cleveland Construction, they proved to be a big hit with the crowds on Lido Beach”.