Sunseeker will not contest rest of P1 season

The Sunseeker Challenger Super Sport boat
Sunseeker to miss last three races of 2008

Powerboat P1 Management has been advised by Sunseeker Sales Group that the Team Sunseeker and the #11 Sunseeker Challenger boat will not be contesting the remaining three Grand Prix of the Sea events of the 2008 season.

Powerboat P1 CEO Jim O’Toole said: 'This is disappointing news as the team of pilots Andy Wilby and Pete Little, and team manager Mel Wilby are very popular members of the Powerboat P1 community and have made a significant contribution to the championship over the last two years. We look forward to welcoming them back to Powerboat P1 racing in the future.'

Powerboat P1 keen for rules stability

The #99 Fountain Worldwide and #69 boats cut it close in TunisiaPowerboat P1 Racing and Event Director Andy Hindley has said that the championship’s regulations are unlikely to change significantly in the next few years, helping current teams plan for the future and encouraging new teams and manufacturers into the sport with a stable rulebook.
The #99 Fountain Worldwide team

The Powerboat P1 championship has seen the introduction of key new regulations for 2008 – in particular, a fixed power-to-weight ratio for both the Evolution and SuperSport class which has been designed to keep the competition close. Powerboat P1 organisers have also tightened up on ensuring the rules are more closely monitored with mandatory sensors to monitor engine performance.

'We’ve got to be very careful that we don’t have a step change in the design of the boats,' Hindley said in an interview with 'All the teams work very hard and take a lot of time to work on and develop the boats through the year, and we don’t want to introduce rules that mean they have to throw all that away.

'We’ve made sure that we involve all the teams and hull and engine manufacturers in the decisions. Powerboat P1 is an opportunity for them to show off their products and develop new technology, and you don’t want to change things that prevent them from being able to do that.

'You definitely don’t want massive change – you just want to tweak it so that it’s a closer playing field. That means not substantially changing the setup of the boats, but it does mean more careful monitoring and telemetry. It’s about policing what we’ve got really hard.'

Hindley has also been encouraged by how the quality of racing has improved this year, but said that he would like to see an improvement in reliability to ensure that this continues from the first few laps, right through to the chequered flag.

'The quality of racing has got much better this year,' he said. 'The first four or five laps in Tunisia were amazingly close between the top boats. It’s just the longevity of performance at the higher end that is letting them down. Once reliability is sorted, the quality of the teams means we’ll have some really close racing through the whole race.'

Powerboat P1 impresses senior Skater figure

The #53 Pignolo 53 Skater Evolution-class boat takes to the air in Malta
The #53 Pignolo 53 Evolution-class crew scored a pair of points finishes in TunisiaDouglas Marine manufacturer General Manager Chris Mornes has said he’s been hugely impressed by the current state of the Powerboat P1 championship after making a first visit to a Grand Prix of the Sea event at the recent round in Tunisia. Douglas Marine builds the Skater hull used by three Evolution-class teams in the series – the #53 Pignolo 53, the #77 Lucas Oil and #69 boats.

'I was surprised by how fast Powerboat P1 has grown,' Mornes said. 'Skater already has three teams in just a couple of years. Powerboat P1 is set up so well. There’s professional staffing, the event operates on time, there is diligent pursuit of the rules and the management handle people very well.

'US teams need to take a look at Powerboat P1 and pay attention. The ambience, festivities and the way the cities are behind it – everything is first class. Even the Virtual Spectator technology is unbelievable. It really is a well-run organisation – it’s an honour and a privilege to be represented so well here. I would be the first to promote teams to go to Powerboat P1.'