SARASOTA, Fla., July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a first-place finish in the Unlimited class of racing in 2018, the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing Team is excited to return to the shores of Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL to compete in the 2019 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival July 5-7. The 35th annual race offers an expanded viewing area and more race teams than previous events.
The Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) and Powerboat P1 have joined forces to create the newly formed American Power Boat Association (APBA) World Offshore Championship Series, which is comprised of six races at the most desired race locations across the U.S. New rules for competition and a concerted effort between race organizations has generated interest from race teams from across the world to participate in all six races. More than 60 teams from across the globe are expected to compete during the 2019 Grand Prix in Sarasota.
Powerboat P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala says the aim of the new partnership is to strengthen the future of offshore racing in the United States by uniting the race teams in a way that has been missing for a long time and delivering an expanded, cohesive, world-class race series split equally between northern and southern states.
The freshly painted and rebuilt Miss GEICO will compete in the new Class One racing division. Class One is comprised of the biggest and fastest race boats in the world. Teams from Dubai, Australia, and Norway have come to race against America's champion Miss GEICO. All the boats in this class weigh 12,000 pounds with identical race engines sealed and governed by Mercury Racing to ensure fairness. The 47-foot Miss GEICO Victory catamaran is made of carbon, Kevlar and S-glass for high performance. The boat sports a pair of brand new and recently released Mercury sealed 1,100 horsepower twin turbo engines and can reach top speeds of more than 160 mph.
On the water, Miss GEICO is under the control of driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis. The duo has been unbeatable the past two seasons and is aiming for a three-peat. Collectively, these racers have earned numerous international, national, and world championship titles.
The GEICO P1 SuperStock boat also will participate in races during the event weekend. The watercraft will be driven by the brother-sister world champion driving duo of Sam and Daisy Coleman. Sam and Daisy will travel from their home in Wales to compete along the Gulf shoreline of Pinellas County.
The stock GEICO P1 Panther race boat has a new appearance for the 2019 season. The 28-foot watercraft now utilizes a canopy cover, is manufactured of carbon fiber, and is powered by the 4.6 liter four-stroke Mercury 300R outboard. The combination of the safety features with the canopy cover and aerodynamic design has resulted in a boat capable of speeds exceeding 80 mph during racing competition.
The third race in the newly-formed series takes place Sunday, July 7 with pre-race events starting Friday, July 5. A driver meet-and-greet will be hosted on Friday at 1:30 p.m. with the annual Boats on the Block Party taking place Friday evening in downtown Sarasota at 6 p.m. Powerboat teams will participate in race boat testing on Saturday afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. Races will take place all day Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. with Miss GEICO competing in the last race of the day at 2 p.m. The race village in the Van Wezel Performing Arts parking lot will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the race, VIP tickets, and race weekend events visit http://sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org.
SOURCE Miss GEICO Racing