American Ethanol Cat Earns Victory In Ohio
When you compete at the 1st inaugural of something, you never know what to expect. The 1st Mentor Grand Prix didn’t disappoint, as a solid field of 4 Unlimited Superboats (American Ethanol, Miss Geico, Lucas Oil and CMS Wake Effects) took to the water on August 28 in Mentor, Ohio, with the Ignite American Ethanol Cat Can Do boat victorious in the Unlimited Class.
“The Cat has been running really strong,” commented Keith Holmes (owner and throttle-man) of Cat Can Do. “Ed Smith (Driver) and I have been building some great chemistry and achieving great results. It was also a pleasure to have Dan Swcharztkopf with Ignite/American Ethanol joining the team with professional input and expertise.”
Lake Erie was on it’s best behavior as conditions were perfect, 85 and sunny with a light 2 ft chop. American Ethanol battled Wake Effects at the start with Miss Geico, after a slow start, following behind. As Miss Geico gained the two leaders battled back and forth, while Lucas Oil followed in fourth.
“We had the inside and with each turn had to really cut the corner tight. Wake Effects kept battling, and with multiple lead changes, the competition was intense.” said Holmes. “We knew that our set-up was going to produce some great top end speeds and we began to pull away down the straight away.” The American Ethanol Cat fastest lap reached an average speed of 120 mph, while clocking 160mph in the straight aways.
Miss Geico fell out of the race with a mechanical issues after 4 laps. “We really looked forward to adding the World Champions Miss Geico to the fleet of boats that ran the SBI Michigan City race, making the liquid raceway show even more impressive,” said Holmes. Engine plant issues plagued the Geico team through the 2016 campaign, and once again reared it’s ugly head in Mentor. CMS Wake Effect’s Twin Mercury racing twin turbo 1650HP engines, also fell to mechanical issues after 10 laps, and pulled off the track just past the midway point. Ignite American Ethanol Cat took the win with Lucas Oil taking second, Wake Effect third & Miss Geico forth.
“These Unlimited engines are extremely powerful. Racing is a sprint but those that think like a marathon runner have a great chance of victory,” said Holmes. “The Sterling Performance Engine team are among the best. With 14 races on our current engines it may be time to re freshen. Mike D’Anniballe of Sterling Performance has been totally amazed at the longevity running ethanol fuel. The twin 1700hp engines have raced over 2000 miles in the past 2 years. Combine the Sterling expertise with our Cat Crew, lead by Mike Holford, our experience in offshore racing gives us a great benefit.”
Holmes commented how well organized the new Superboat International Mentor event was. “A big shout out to Mark Small and his crew for pulling off a great event. We enjoyed some great hospitality, including excellent Friday night dinner in the pits, fan meet and greets, and awards parties were top notched, We look forward to returning next year.”
The next stop of the season for the Ignite Racing Fuel American Ethanol Cat will be in Clearwater, Florida for the Super Boat National Championships.