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Lucas Oil Outerlimits Racing Team Wins Sprint Race in Belgium

Old 09-10-2007, 10:00 AM
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Default Lucas Oil Outerlimits Racing Team Wins Sprint Race in Belgium


Finally, a truly rough water race and the Mercury Racing-powered Lucas Oil Outerlimits Team dominated the Powerboat P1 Belgium Grand Prix of the Sea. A bit of neck-and-neck racing in lap one and two with the German SeaRex boat provided some early excitement for the Evolution Class. After that, it was all Mercury Racing and the Outerlimits’ SV-40 leading and lapping the field in the second, sprint portion of the Powerboat P1 race.

Zeebrugge, the race site for the 5th of 6 of the 2007 Powerboat P1 race series, is a port city on the North Sea, notorious for its choppy, unpredictable waves. As the winds blew in from the Northwest early on Sunday morning, racers prepared for even rougher waters than the Saturday endurance race provided. The Lucas Oil Outerlimits Racing Team knew it already had the perfect set-up, having nearly won the Saturday race, except for a fuel line problem that stopped the boat, which had led for over five laps, just before the finish line on lap 9 of the 10 lap race. Sorely disappointed by the loss of potential first-place points, Joe Sgro on the wheel and Nigel Hook on throttles, rebounded for the second race and soundly beat the competition in an impressive run, lapping third-place King of Shaves on the fourth lap.

The team never looked back—and probably for good reason as Sgro’s life jacket inexplicably inflated on the third lap, blocking his radio communication and his vision. “I could see the GPS out of the corner of my eye and I could hear Nigel talking to Mike [Fiore, president and owner of Outerlimits Powerboats] on the radio, so I knew everything was fine,” said Sgro, who always adds drama to the race.

For Hook, it was uplifting to take the checkered flag, which he had missed on his Cowes victory with Sgro, when the flag was erroneously awarded to another competitor at the race, before that team had been assessed penalties for breaking out of the P1 speed limit. “This victory was vindicating,” Hook commented, “It was earned and a sound beating of the competition.”

“It doesn’t ease the pain from yesterday,” said Sgro, “But it’s good to win. Giving the victory away yesterday probably cost us the World Championship, but this win proves without a doubt the superiority of the Outerlimits hull. We dominated this whole race!”

The resounding win earned the team third place in the Powerboat P1 Belgium Grand Prix of the Sea. The circuit closes the 2007 season in Portimao, Portugal, September 29-30.

Stay tuned.
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