Today (April 21st 2010) marks the successful completion of the beta test phase for the new 77 LUCAS OIL Scandinavian Offshore Challenge, an Ilmor powered Vector. The race boat, trailer and support truck are being transported to Trieste, Italy to catch the ferry to Yalta, Ukraine.
Yalta, Ukraine is the first stop in the 2010 UIM Grand Prix of the Sea World Championship series. The series has already made waves by replacing CEO Asif Rangoonwalla and reorganizing under the direction of the UIM, the international sanctioning body for all water motorsports. Jean-Marie Van Lancker (B), President UIM Pleasure Navigation and veteran race organizer, has taken the helm providing untold hours and relentless services to fulfill the P1 World Championship obligations.
As pilots Michael Silfverberg (S) and Nigel Hook (USA) return home to Stockholm and San Diego respectively, the rest of the international team disperses to New Zealand, Michigan, California and Sweden. Not even flight cancellations courtesy of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano have dampened the enthusiasm for the results achieved to date. Team Captain Nigel Hook, expressed high marks on the accomplishments of the new team which has come together so successfully since its inception just five months ago.
Expectations were exceeded during the sea trials, with renowned naval architect, Ocke Mannerfelt on hand to witness the impressive rough water handling capabilities of his new design. The twin Ilmor V10 powered 77 LUCAS OIL / SOC crushed the 6 to 7 foot waves as it flew across the turbulent North Seas in Zeebrugge recording G-Forces up to 6.4 G.
The Scandinavian Offshore Challenge carefully selected Bernico International (www.bernico.be) as its European race headquarters. Owned by Nico Bertels, the Bernico facility not only provided work shop, cranes, and a convenient marina hotel with restaurant, it also provided immediate access to the channel Willebroek facilitating high speed propeller test runs.
The remarkable speeds achieved during alpha testing in February just prior to the Miami Boat Show exhibit were re-demonstrated. Additionally, the acceleration parameters have been greatly improved with new Hering propellers and the minor set up changes which were made during the longer speed runs on the river Schelde.
All test session data was logged on the new Race Technology system (www.race-technology.com) which synchronizes four video cameras, all the Ilmor engine ECU information, and sensor data received from the electric/hydraulic control systems. This has allowed the team to review and analyze the testing statistics and leverage the knowledge of all resources in the team including onsite support from Ian Hawkins, GM Marine Division Ilmor and former Formula One engine guru.
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