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Grand Prix World and APBA New Class

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 7:32pm -- Tana Moore

Grand Prix World and APBA creating opportunity for innovation, development and fan-based growth 

With an eye to the future, Grand Prix World and the American Power Boat Association have signed an agreement, creating a new racing class, "GPW Supercharged Automotive,” that will be a part of the Inboard category. 

The agreement allows GPW to create its own racing and technical rules, while adhering to APBA safety standards. It opens the door for new formats, power sources and hull designs. 

"We are excited about this opportunity and the cooperation from APBA, allowing us look to the future and innovate," said GPW President Sam Cole. "We can encourage new power sources and would love to bring in other manufacturers’ engines to increase competition and excitement.” 

Grand Prix hydroplanes have used a Chevrolet 454/468 big-block engine for years; the engine has been used by Chevrolet for more than four decades. 

"If we are going to attract Gen X and Gen Y to boat racing, then we need to focus on power, designs and formats that are younger than they are," Cole added. 

"We make a lot of noise with what we use; and it would be awesome to see Ford, Toyota, Honda—and who knows—someday, Tesla with a supercharger!" 

APBA President Howie Nichols said, ”It is a pleasure having you race with us, and we are here to help grow the sport of boat racing.” 

Next steps for GPW will be to create its rules for 2018, introduce formats that will attract new fans, and broaden technical rules to encourage new participation from a variety of sources. 

The recently announced purchase of the Conover Racing team by GPW owner Jerry Hopp will be a first step for innovation.
Hopp plans to use dual carburetors (instead of injection) and install a blower on a Chevy to produce more than 1000 horsepower in a gasoline-powered hull. 

“This allows new teams to step up more economically and compete," is the outlook shared by Hopp.  “It uses gasoline, does not require complete outfitting of many of the existing hulls that are out there, and will make a lot of noise and produce the power needed to compete." 

"This allows us to bring in boats from other series and not have to change the rules to allow them to race with us," pointed out GPW team owner Scott Pierce. "It will bring more ‘roar to the shore’ and let us build our sport for the future." 

Under terms of the two-year agreement, GPW Supercharged Automotive will compete for APBA High Points and other championships throughout the year. 

The GPW racing season will kick-off June 22-24 at the Guntersville Lake Hydrofest in Alabama. 

For more information contact: Sam Cole 


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