With the 2009 Powerboat P1 season fast approaching a new team of veteran racers has declared its intentions to compete in Evolution Class for at least part of the season as a prelude to a full-on effort in 2010.

Belgians Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaer, who shared pilot duties in 2008 for the #57 Centaurian Yachts team, will bring an as yet unnamed Fountain 43 Lightning powered by twin Mercury Racing SCi 662s to at least two P1 events this year, with team owner Colpin at the helm and Hemelaer on the throttles.

The pair has raced together on and off for more than a decade, and have a long history of competitive events that include ski racing, motocross and Powerboat P1 SuperSport class. "Everything is just starting to come together," Colpin said recently in an exclusive interview with website powerboating.be, "It's too early yet to define in which races we actually will compete. Two are already scheduled. To participate in every race this season will require a main sponsor, so we now see 2009 as a prep year to extend our experience and level of competence." Currently, the team's efforts are being funded by a handful of smaller, local sponsors. "Thanks to them, we are able to speed up our plans and compete in at least part of the 2009 P1 season," Colpin said.

Colpin also said that while their focus is on Powerboat P1, the team will likely compete in the European Championship of the Italian Powerboat Series as well as the Belgian Offshore Challenge in September.

Powerboat P1 launches its 2009 season the weekend of May 8-10 in the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, which will be hosting its sixth Grand Prix of the Sea, and the World Championship will then move on to Turkey, Sweden, Italy and the island Kingdom of Bahrain over the next six months. Full details are available at www.powerboatp1.com