D2D Pre-Season Boat Rankings – 11 through 14
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14: U-18 Bucket List Racing Driver: Kelly Stocklin – Sammamish, WA
The Bucket List Team, led by long-time UL and GP racer Kelly Stocklin, will usher in a new, experimental T-53 turbine powerplant to the unlimited fleet. Stocklin’s combination, a 4000 lb. boat propelled by a 1400 HP turbine, is set to compete against the current fleet of 6500 lb. hulls fitted with 2800 HP T-55 turbine engines. The U-18 camp will likely join the circuit in Tri-Cities. Expect the new combination to pose many challenges to the brand new team. Simply not enough information exists yet to determine this team’s fantasy validity.
13: U-21 Albert Lee Appliance Driver: Brian Perkins – Maple Valley, WA
Go Fast Turn Left Racing team will run an abridged 2012 season, only taking to their home Washington State waters in Tri-Cities and Seattle. The 2011 campaign proved to be a taxing affair, both emotionally and financially due to the incident in Madison in which the U-21 struck a rescue sled. The collision left the team’s primary hull (0721) damaged and young pilot Brian Perkins shaken. The 21 managed to rebound from the incident to race the full circuit, but never quite gained on the improvement displayed during the 2010 season. The U-21 team looks to right the ship in 2012 with eyes on a potential full circuit return in 2013 with a brand new hull.
12: U-22 Matrix Systems Automotive Driver: Mike Webster – Reading, PA
The Websters have named Eric Bell as Crew Chief for the U-22 effort in 2012. Bell is experienced with the former Oh Boy! Oberto hull (8806), having crewed on the hull during its time as the City of Madison’s primary hull. The U-22 Great Scott Presents Matrix Systems has undergone a major offseason rebuild and has been outfitted with a new modern cockpit. Although the performance of the U-22 should improve with the new modifications and Bell’s input, expect the boat to race conservatively and toward the rear of the pack.
11: U-57 Formulaboats.com Driver: N. Mark Evans – Chelan, WA
In a surprising pre-season move Brothers Evans, Mitch and N. Mark, have taken ownership of the U-57 (9010) hull and will campaign full-circuit under the Formulaboats.com banner in 2012. The Chelan, WA-ported team has been hard at work with their “new hull” this off-season refining the aging former Winston Eagle sled that initially was known as the “Lobster Boat.” The last couple seasons the boat has not looked as light on her toes as in previous years. Over the past two years, the U-57 has been a consistent back marker, and unfortunately all signs point to more of the same in 2012. Despite the proven capabilities of veteran racer N. Mark Evans, it is hard to imagine this hull will have enough coal in the engine room to compete for podium heat finishes.
Posted on: Jun 29 2012 10:48 PM UTC Edited on: Jul 03 2012 03:12 PM UTC