Offshore multi World and National Champion Grant Bruggemann of Grant's Signature Racing has signed on as throttleman for Willy Cabeza's GC Racing team in 450R Factory Stock class.

Florida-based Bruggemann, who most recently has throttled for New Zealand-based driver Wayne Valder in Super Cat's Pro Floors Racing—and who previously raced the famous #13 STIHL Skater 388 in Super Cat—became available because Valder plans to sit out most of the season after undergoing a surgical procedure on his shoulder.

Cabeza told Speedboat that he's psyched for Bruggemann to operate the sticks in his MTI. "We raced the World Finals in Key West with Shaun Torrente, but he already has a commitment to throttle for our competitor, Mead Family Racing, this season," he says. "That left the seat open, so Randy Scism at MTI started actively helping me find a replacement. Even though we compete against each other, we all try to help each other." Scism told Cabeza about Bruggemann and "it's a great fit," he says.

In addition to running and actively rigging boats at Grant's Signature Racing of Fort Myers, FL, Bruggemann has throttled for a variety of teams and classes throughout the world since 2008. Teaming with Cabeza marks his first foray into 450R Factory Stock class.

"Even when we were racing in Super Cat, sometimes the 450s would be racing alongside us. And I always, thought, 'Man, it's tough to get around these guys!' The speeds they were doing were similar to ours. I've always watched boats in all of the classes, because you never know what opportunities may arise out of these new teams."

As of this writing, the pair just finished their initial testing together in GC Racing. "We just got a ton of solid testing done and looked at some of the camera footage that we shot," Bruggemann says. "Willy's such a nice guy. When you jump into these boats, you learn to gel with that person who's in there with you, and start to figure out how to work together. I've been in enough boats with different people that you can sense what they're thinking, if they're nervous, overconfident or whatever. You get in there and you do your job."

Crew chief Adrian Barrett (owner/founder Barrett Custom Marine of Lake Havasu City, AZ, was stoked by the news that Bruggemann would be joining the team. "When Randy and Willy called me, I was super excited," he tells Speedboat. "I've had a ton of respect for Grant over the years, racing against him in Super Cat, and I’ve always known him to be competitive. He's always been a super standup guy, with a wealth of knowledge. After doing some testing with him and getting to know him and his wife, I was impressed. He is super techie, and understands the engines, as wel as the boat's setup. He is always looking for that last little bit that's going to help us to get over the top. Grant will be a great fit going into the new season."