After spending the last 2 years racing in Supercat light class for the #33 FastBoats Marine Group 40′ MTI, throttleman Randy Sweers and driver Tony Fiorillo have decided to move up to the new Superboat class. This new class has effectively combined Supercat light/Superboat 750 and Superboat 850 raceboats. The last race #33 will run with their current engine packages will be the Clearwater race Sept 30th, 2012. After the race, the vessel will return to FastBoats Marine Group headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida for a complete re-rig to the new Superboat Class specifications.
Although the timing wasn’t exactly as planned, the new Superboat Class has basically eliminated use of the Mercury 525 efi engine package. “Although our boat was technically “Grandfathered” in, there would be virtually no way for a 525 HP vessel to compete with the 750hp spec for the new class. One factor that we are really looking forward to is adding some of the “safety” features back into our boat!” Sweers said. “Although our 40′ MTI has a very good “safety” system, we had to remove some of our crash bulkheads to get down to the 8350 lb minimum weight in the Cat light class,” Sweers added.
The new class weight at 9500 lbs will allow FastBoats to go back to their original safety specifications that MTI had originally implemented in this boat. Randy Scism, owner of MTI, and Randy Sweers, have spent a lot of time and effort making the safest boat possible after the 3 tragic deaths at the World Championships in Key West last year. “I think safety is on the mind of every driver and throttleman out on the course,” Fiorillo said.
The FastBoats Marine Group team has contracted to have new engines built and are planning to test sometime in late October. Sweers said, “It’s certainly not going to give us a lot of test time, but I think we should be able to be competitive. We definitely have a huge disadvantage against the larger boats especially in the rough water off Key West but you never know what can happen!!”
Like the Warpaint Team, Sweers and former driver Danilo Zampaloni, had a crash while testing at the 2011 World Championships that took them out of the race. The team has spent the first six months of 2012 rebuilding their boat and now have the task of re-rigging the vessel in time for the 2012 Key West World Championships, which takes place November 5th to 11th.
“It appears the new class is going to attract the best teams from not only the USA but other countries as well. We are looking forward to some great competition this year in Key West and beyond in the 2013 race season,” said Sweers.