Baba Racing creator and visionary Massimo Roggiero is spearheading a new and exciting project which could be seen at a UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix event as soon as Kiev, Ukraine on the 21st and 22nd of July with the introduction of a revolutionary new V8 powerplant for F1 powerboats worldwide.
The Italian ex-F1 driver and successful boat builder from just outside Milan, has developed an exclusive partnership with Hartley Enterprises and their founder John Hartley from America.
The company, located just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the heart of middle America is known for their design work with V8 power plants. Their 4 cylinder engines are made of lightweight materials that are ideal for track cars and other lightweight race or recreational vehicles and could be the new face of future of F1 if Massimo and John get all their hard work to jell before the end of the year.
'I'm truly exited about what we have done so far,' stated Massimo. 'John and I have been working on this project in secret for almost a year now and after our initial tests on the Po River recently, it looks promising to say the least. It's just a matter of when we can get a timeline to introduce this engine into the series.'
The four stroke 3000cc V8 engine weights just 95 kilo's with a maximum RPM of 10,500 developing close to 420 horsepower.
With John Hartley in attendance on the Po River near Casale Monferrato in northern Italy on the 30th of May both Massimo and four-time World Champion Scott Gillman Race Team Manager for Team Abu Dhabi drove the boat with the power plant and were impressed with the power generated by the new project.
'I was truly blown away by what I experienced,' said Scott. 'This engine has great potential and with more work I think we can get it to a Grand Prix before the end of the season.'
The chief designer Claudio Borra, along with John, are working to refine the final details and reduce the power of the engine trying to make it reliable for a complete season and thus obtain a more docile and greatly reduced maintenance cost for each available F1 team whom might be interested in running the engine.
The new engine, formally known as the H1 V8 Baba derived from the evolution of motorcycles. Designed and manufactured to operate in a vertical position, concealing the true innovation of this project concerned with the possibility of an outboard motor to be mounted even on bootleg Mercury or OMC products.
The 47 year-old Roggiero spent 12 seasons racing on the UIM F1 H2O tour, starting in 105 Grand Prix's while taking three victories and 18 total podiums earning 447 total points from his debut in 1995 to his final event in 2009.
Massimo, has proven to be one of the top two boat builders in the world when it comes to F1 racing. His BABA racing boats having won numerous events in the total spectrum of the sport from F1 to F2 to F1000 and F4S in the past decade.
A visionary, Massimo continues to carry out projects that enhance the extreme visions of the sport of F1 H2O, which is the most demanding series on water, representing the most talented drivers anywhere in the world.
This current project could become a 'Back to the Future' story since OMC V8 engines were on the back of all UIM F1 powerboats back in their inaugural first year of 1981. The last race to feature V8 power plants was during the final event of the 1986 season in North America.
The next round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship takes place on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of June at the Grand Prix of the Republic of Tatarstan in Kazan. It will mark the 13th time a F1 race has been run in the Russian Federation in it's four decade history.
Qualifying on the Friday, June 22nd will be 18:00 local and 14:00 GMT, while the official Grand Prix of the Republic of Tatarstan will take place at 17:00 local and 13:00 GMT. UIM F1 H2O website