Sunday 11th March 2018
P1, the world’s leading marine motorsport brand, is set to embark on its extensive 2018 race programme that will see the international promoter stage 19 events in seven countries from April through to November. The season will comprise the P1 SuperStock USA powerboat championship and personal watercraft racing in the shape of AquaX jet ski action and the Jetcross stand-up ski series.
Unveiling the calendar last month at the company’s office in Orlando, P1 chief executive Azam Rangoonwala said: “It’s going to be a challenging but immensely exciting season as we return to some favorite locations and partner with new host venues here in Florida as well as in the UK and continental Europe. Our aim was to put together a great mix of powerboat racing, featuring our one-design P1 Panther race boats, and an expanded programme of jet ski racing across the two disciplines that will grow competitor numbers. It will be hugely competitive season of fast, furious and free to watch sporting action and entertainment.”
This will be the eighth season of P1 SuperStock racing in the United States, and the five-venue national championship will again be broadcast in over 150 countries. “Partnerships are at the heart of our business” commented Rangoonwala, “and our commercial and media alliances are testimony to the growth and stature of the P1 SuperStock series. The Grand Prix of the Sea events are designed to excite and entertain, ensuring spectator enjoyment and sponsor value with a significant impact for the local economy.”
The coming season will see the P1 SuperStock fleet return to popular venues around the Florida coast, but there’s also a new name on the calendar that marks a big step for the championship. The iconic Miami Marine Stadium, built in 1963 just south of the city, will host the opening race weekend in April before the series moves on to what is effectively P1’s home town venue in Kissimmee.
For the fifth consecutive year, Jacksonville will welcome the teams in early June for the St. John’s River Grand Prix, and St. Pete Beach will host its second P1 event later that month. For the season finale, the series heads to southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast at the end of June where the 34thAnnual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival will once again attract tens of thousands of spectators to enjoy the outstanding racing and carnival atmosphere. Rangoonwala describes Sarasota as “the big one” and, if the final round of last year’s championship is anything to go by, it could well produce a tense and dramatic end to the 2018 SuperStock Championship battle.
P1 will serve up a double bill of powerboat racing and jet ski action in four Florida venues – Miami, Kissimmee, St. Pete Beach and Sarasota – that will see P1 AquaX visit 5 countries with a total of 14 events over 8 months. Global Head of P1 AquaX, Lisa Barsby explained: “In the seven years since its launch, P1 AquaX has grown significantly and achieved its goal of staging a world championship event last year. It’s been a natural progression from the opening race season in the UK in 2011 to the series expanding to the USA in 2013 and then into mainland Europe last year.”
Barsby adds: “The rapidly increasing number of riders, partners and fans has been tremendous, and our close relationship with the leading manufacturers has added considerably to the legitimacy of our series. We attract world class riders to our Pro Series whilst leading amateur racers compete in two different classes, and this season we are expecting a total of more than 500 riders to take part. We are keen to build on the success of new events last year in Barcelona and Agon-Coutainville in Normandy, and for the UK events to continue feed amateur riders into the Euro Tour. In the United States, the Great Lakes Series is entering its third year with North Point, Illinois being added to the calendar.”
Reinforcing P1’s growing jet ski presence in Europe will be the Jetcross series featuring stand-up circuit racing. The French-based personal watercraft promoter joined the P1 family of marine racing brands in July 2016 and the move was seen as a significant statement of P1’s commitment and expansion plans for jet ski racing. The Jetcross World Pro and National Tours will comprise five events in three countries, with new venues in the south of France, Switzerland and Belgium. The final round of the Tour will again take place just outside Paris at the superb jet ski racing facility of So’Fun Village in September.