International marine motorsport promoter Powerboat P1 has announced that JBS Racing will be competing in this season’s UIM Class 1 World Championship. The team will be based in the Florida Keys and make its first appearance in the six-venue series at Cocoa Beach May 19-22.
The JBS crew of Micheal Stancombe and Jeff Stevenson first met more than 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the two were in a boat together when they ran Stevenson’s turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic at The Thunder Over Louisville and decided to race together. It’s taken 12 years, but they will now be in the cockpit of their 42-foot MTI catamaran when the 2022 Class 1 race series kicks off on Florida’s Space Coast.
Team owner and driver Stevenson has enjoyed some memorable times during his successful racing career, including becoming National and World Champion and being inducted into the Hall of Champions when racing with Team Donzi. His interest in offshore racing arose when living in Wisconsin and mixing with Mercury Marine employees, and he bought his first race boat. Ten years ago, he helped to create Sixteen Power, a Michigan-based manufacturer of V16 performance marine engines, and speaking from his home in Key Largo he said, “I’m so excited about us joining Class 1. It’s mythical. It’s as real as it gets—the pinnacle of this sport with national and international television coverage. We are like gladiators getting ready for battle.”
The Stancombes are very much a powerboat racing family. “My most memorable achievements have to be winning the National and World Championship in 2000 with my father in our Peppers 36-foot Skater and then my first race with my son Dominic last year in Sarasota,” Micheal explains. “Three generations of offshore powerboat racers is quite something.” Based in Indianapolis as a consultant in the marine industry and with a home in Sarasota, his dream as a child was always to race offshore and he has competed in many classes over the past 33 years. “Did I think Class 1 would be part of my future? Absolutely if I worked hard for it. Joining this series means racing with the best of the best.”
The UIM Class 1 World Championship race calendar will see eight races at six venues in the United States from May to November. In October 2020 the UIM assigned to Powerboat P1 the international rights to Class 1 offshore racing in a ten-year agreement and P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala has confirmed that six teams from three continents have already committed to racing this season. “JBS Racing is an exciting addition to our international fleet and we are delighted that Jeff and Micheal have chosen to join the series,” he said. “Our principal goal is to grow the Class 1 championship commercially and promote the series both nationally and globally to deliver enhanced value for race teams, venues, sponsors and partners. We want to return Class 1 to the summit of offshore racing by attracting more teams and building the worldwide television audience.”
The Class 1 season gets underway at the four-day (May 19-22) Thunder On Cocoa Beach event on Florida’s Atlantic Coast and includes the Key West World Championship in November.