Chris Fairchild Wins Grand Prix of Augusta
-- Season Opener for 2007 ChampBoat Racing Series
FOND DU LAC, Wis., May 30, 2007 – Chris Fairchild of Paw Paw, Ill., won the Grand Prix of Augusta ChampBoat Series tunnel boat race Sunday, May 20, on the Savannah River in Augusta, Ga. ChampBoat Series tunnel boat racing returned to Augusta after a 10-year hiatus. The race was the season opener for the 2007 nine-race ChampBoat Series.
Fairchild’s victory ended defending ChampBoat Series champion Terry Rinker’s world record of seven consecutive Champ class victories, which capped a perfect 2006 season and his second straight ChampBoat Series championship.
Pole sitter Shaun Torrente of Miami, Fla., was beaten to the first lap flag by veteran teammate Todd Bowden of Monrovia, Calif. Bowden’s lead was short lived, however, when mechanical problems forced him to retire from the course midway through the 50-lap race. Torrente fought hard to hold off the hard charging Fairchild, but couldn’t keep him at bay.
“Chris had his boat dialed-in today and he drove a great race, he deserves the win”, stated Torrente. “It was either crash trying or win,” a crushed Torrente said.
“After a bad year last year, I so badly wanted to start the season off with a win for Lee Ramsey and my team,” stated an elated Fairchild.
Terry Rinker of Tampa, Fla., Wyatt Nelson of Syracuse, N.Y., and Tim Seebold of Osage Beach, Mo., rounded out 3-5. All were powered by Mercury Racing 2.5 Liter EFI Champ race outboards.
World champion Champ Light (SST 45) competitor Kevin Ladd of Whitmore Lake, Mich., continued his winning style to capture his first Champ2 (SST 120) race. Ladd started from the second spot and was sitting comfortably when leader Glyn Mathews of Richmond, Texas, and a rookie driver exchanged paint. Extensive hull damage knocked Mathews out of the competition. Ladd promptly captured the lead and never looked back.
Mathews said, “We’re OK, the boat is running great, and so we’re looking forward to turning our luck around next month in Bay City.”
Defending Champ2 Champion Kris Shepherd of Antioch, Ill., chased Ladd all day but couldn’t pass the rookie Michigan driver and finished second. “Kevin is good, he didn’t put the boat wrong all day, and I am glad I was able to hold off Bill Rucker who was all over me” stated Shepherd. Veteran Champ2 competitor Rucker rounded out third in Class2 competition. All were powered by Mercury Racing 2.0 Liter SST 120 race outboards.
Round two of the 2007 ChampBoat Series is the 20th annual Dobson’s Bay City River Roar, June 22-24. Additional information can be found on the official Web site for the ChampBoat Series: www.champboatracing.com.
About Mercury Racing
Based in Fond du Lac, Wis., Mercury Racing, a division of Mercury Marine, is a leading provider of high-performance marine propulsion systems to discriminating boaters worldwide, offering an exciting and fulfilling powerboating experience on the water. Using leading-edge technology, Mercury Racing produces high-performance outboards, sterndrives, propellers, parts and accessories. Mercury Racing-powered boats worldwide win more races and set more records than any boats powered by other marine engine manufacturers.
Mercury Marine is a division of Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational products, including pleasure boats, marine engines, fitness equipment, and bowling and billiards.
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