After an exciting conclusion during Sunday’s Factory Stock 450 Class race at the 39th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, the spectators and fans on-scene, as well as the P1 Offshore livestream, appeared to have Team MTI / TS Motorsports finishing in first place, a hard-charging Team Doug Wright / Waves & Wheels coming in second and Team Gladiator Canados finishing in third.
However, the awards ceremonies later that evening brought confusion and uncertainty to the class’ final results—awarding first place to Team Gladiator Canados, Team MTI / TS Motorsports coming in second, and Team 151 Express finishing in third—despite suffering a mechanical issue and unable to complete the race.
The APBA officials had ruled that Team MTI / TS Motorsports, with driver Taylor Scism and Throttleman Johnny Tomlinson, had violated a race rule that states that a boat must allow a minimum of 50-foot clearance before overtaking a competitor on the race course. MTI President and team owner Randy Scism immediately protested the ruling to the APBA officials after the awards presentation, providing on-board video, proving that no such violation had occurred.
After reviewing the videos and conferring amongst the committee, it has been deemed that Team MTI / TS Motorsports was “close,” but no infraction of the rule had occurred—thus awarding them with the first place finish and the critical points. P1 Offshore has now posted official results on its website, naming TS Motorsports as the winner, Doug Wright / Waves & Wheels driver Logan Adan and throttleman Ricky Maldonado in second, and Gladiator Canados (with Ervin Grant and Michel Karsenti) finishing in third.
Bryan Brunson, owner/manager of Doug Wright / Waves & Wheels, told Speedboat, "We just want to race hard and fair. We finished second, and we raced hard and we look forward to being out there again. The APBA was tasked with a difficult situation, but we respect the outcome and appreciate the efforts." Meanwhile, JR Adan, a co-owner and managing member Doug Wright Powerboats, said, "Doug Wrights ended up representing the majority of the podium, and we're planning on continuing to dominate." He gives a special shout-out to head referee Todd DePhillips and APBA Vice Chairman Rich Luhrs for their efforts.
450R Factory Class competitors will meet up next in Michigan City, IN for OPA's Great Lakes Grand Prix Aug. 3-6, followed by the inaugural Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge in Sheboygan, WI, Aug. 11-13. (Neither race will be for national points in the class.)