Mercury Racing Hosts Midwest Challenge Powerboat Racing Festival in Sheboygan, Wis., Aug. 11-13
Mercury Racing is ready for a Wide Open weekend of thrilling powerboat competition August 11-13 in Sheboygan, Wis., as the Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge presents a festival of speed on the shores of Lake Michigan with the top categories of U.S. powerboat racing.
Racing action will be highlighted by thundering UIM Class 1 World Championship offshore catamarans and the searing speed and agility of F1 Powerboat Championship tunnel boats. More than 40 race teams are expected to participate with competitors from around the world traveling to the Lake Michigan waterfront, including Australia, Italy, Sweden, Canada and Norway.
“The Midwest Challenge puts an exclamation point on the Mercury Racing 50th Anniversary celebration by highlighting our love of competition racing,” said Mercury Racing General Manager Stuart Halley. “For the first time ever, Class 1 offshore catamarans and Formula 1 circuit racing tunnel boats will compete at the same venue, on the same weekend.”
Admission to all Midwest Challenge events is free and the weekend is designed to be family friendly. Free spectator viewing will be available at the race site. VIP ticket packages are available to purchase for those seeking reserved seating with up-close-and-personal viewing and hospitality services. Full event schedule, course maps, parking info, free trolley info, and VIP tickets are available at: MercuryRacing.com/midwestchallenge.
The weekend kicks off on Friday, Aug. 11, at a block party with musical artist Past Curfew and a race boat display, from 6-10 p.m. at the City Green in downtown Sheboygan.
The Saturday and Sunday racing schedule starts at 10:00 a.m. at South Pier and will include a full slate of F1 Powerboat Championship heats and finals, and P1 Offshore competition in the Class 1, 450R Factory Stock and Superstock classes. Deland Park and Harbor Centre Marina will act as the pit area for race teams to prepare their boats. A Fan Zone located at South Pier will feature vendors, merchandise, activities, and free viewing of the races. The Fan Zone will also house the Mercury Racing Tour Truck, a display of historic tunnel boats, and the Mercury Racing DAC boat powered by a Mercury Racing 360APX outboard.
Racing Class Rundown
UIM Class 1: Class 1 is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world and is considered to be one of the most spectacular marine motorsports. A Class 1 race boat is 40 to 47 feet in length, powered by twin inboard 1,100hp Mercury Racing 1100 Competition engines and can reach speeds in excess of 160 mph.
450R Factory Stock: The largest outboard-powered offshore race boat, these catamarans are 35 to 40 feet long and powered by twin 450hp Mercury Racing 450R outboard motors.
Superstock: These 28- to 32-foot long racing catamarans are powered by twin 300hp V6 Mercury Racing 300R outboards.
F1 Powerboat Championship: Sleek and lightweight F1 tunnel boats race on an inshore course with razor-sharp turns and offer lightning quick acceleration – from 0-to-100 mph in under five seconds – and top speeds of 120 mph. These boats are powered by Mercury Racing Competition outboards, including the low-emissions four-stroke 200APX outboard.
“We can’t wait for this exciting weekend to get started,” said Mercury Racing General Manager Stuart Halley. “I want to thank the city of Sheboygan, P1 Offshore, F1 Powerboat, and all generous sponsors for leading organization of the Midwest Challenge.”