COCOA BEACH — The third annual Thunder on the Beach Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix roared to a fitting finale Sunday off the coast of Cocoa Beach with the world’s fastest speedboats vying for valuable points in a successful kickoff to the 2012 National Series.
Thirty-one boats competed in eight divisions with the fastest time recorded by GASSE, which captured the Super Boat Unlimited category with an average speed of 94.56 mph.
Crowd favorite and national champion Instigator turned in the second-fastest time (85.96) to win the Manufacturing Production-1 category. Lucas Oil, racing in the Superboat Vee Extreme category, followed with an 84.82 mph average.
Zipp Express, from Sebastian, successfully defended its 2011 title in the Manufacturing Production-2 category.
The Zipp team, which has four world championships in only two seasons, received a number of local sponsorships, including Cocoa Beach’s Eagle’s Nest, Luna Sea Motel, Subway and Lido’s Cabaret; and Auddino’s Italian Bakery and Grill’s at the Port.
A new Georgia entrant, Team Kilt, won the Manufacturing Production-3 category with an average speed of 72.79 mph despite the rough seas.
“It was a pretty good course, a little nasty, but we had a good time in the boat laughing and giggling,” said driver Richard Davis.
“We figured out the south turn (Lori Wilson Park) was the worst turn, there were a lot of rollers in the sandbar there and it was nasty.”
“Actually, one of our competitors, Phantom, spun out and threw the driver off; he was fine, but that was a man’s man-turn down there.”
Davis, from Sarasota, is looking forward to returning to his hometown for the next race in the national series (the 28th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival June 29-July 1), but before looking ahead he took a moment to thank everyone for this weekend’s successful run.
“Hands down, this is a great venue; the town is awesome, the people are awesome, the vendors, restaurants, hotels, everything is just super,” said Davis.
“And we will definitely be back next year.”
Superboat Unlimited 1 - 8 Gasse
Super Vee Extreme 1 - Lucas Oil
Turbine DNS 113 Miss Geico
Superboat 1 - 5 WHM 2 - 13 Stihl 3 - JD Byrider
Super Vee Limited 1 - 51 Sun Print 2 - 9 Phantom 3 - 2 Scott Free Racing 4 - 7 Absolutely Not/JD Byrider 5 - 10 IMCO
Superboat Stock 1 - S-1 Black Sand 2 - S-31 Duce Rods 3 - S-5 WHM Motorsports 4 - S-111 Fluid Sealing Products DNS S-324 BK Motorsports
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS FOR SUPERBOAT STOCK – PENALTY APPEAL PENDING
Manufacturer Prod P1 1 - P1-01 Instigator 2 - P1-29 Cleveland Construction 3 - P1-12 Sheds Plus