Factory Billet Returning to the Shootout

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Of all the great storylines from the 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, the most compelling was the competition between Factory Billet—a 51-foot canopied Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats V-bottom piloted by Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher and a homegrown 43-foot Black Thunder V-bottom piloted by shootout legend—and soon to be hall-of-famer—Dennis Parvey, and his son, Jason. In two days of top-speed runs on the new-for-2017, three-quarter-mile course, the two teams successively raised the bar on one another before agreeing to call it a draw at 161 mph.

Factory Billet’s Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher are hoping to top last year’s stunning Lake of the Ozarks Shootout performance. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

For Schultz, who owns the 51-footer powered by twin flexible-fuel 1,950/1,650-hp turbocharged engines built by Faucher, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout performance put the Factory Billet 100-hour-endurance engine program, which includes three-speed automatic transmissions and an auto-trim system, on the map. Since then, they’ve been fine-tuning their power package, which automatically adjusts engine power output to fuel gravity and octane, and adding new components including Precision Turbo and Engine water-jacketed turbochargers with integrated waste gates and single-piece, three-dimensional printed Inconel headers at their headquarters in Lake Zurich, Ill.

Prior to swapping out the turbochargers on the original engines, ambient engine compartment temperatures reached 140 to 150 degrees, a less-than-ideal environment for making power.

“With the water-jacket turbochargers, you can put your hand on one of the engines when it is running wide open and it will only feel warm,” said Schultz. “And with the integrated waste gates, we have greater control so we can run higher boost.

Like the water-jacketed turbochargers, the single-piece, non-welded Inconel headers were designed to mitigate heat and maximize reliability as there are no welds to crack.

“With 3-D printing, anything you can draw you build to within to a few thousands of an inch,” said Schultz. “It’s so precise. There’s nothing like it.”

Schultz and Faucher are hoping for another remarkable performance—one that will build confidence and attract more customer interest—at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout later in the month. But even with the new components on the Factory Billet engines, they won’t make any top speed predictions for this year.

“I think we can top what we did last year,” said Schultz. “I’m confident we can top 161 mph. It’s going to be great to get out there again and show people what we can do.”

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Matt Trulio is an award-winning journalist who has covered the high-performance powerboat world since 1995. He wrote for Powerboat magazine for 17 years and was the magazine’s editor at large until it ceased publication in 2011. Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm. He’s also the former editor of Sportboat magazine.

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