James Sheppard/Craig Wilson, Team Fountain Worldwide World Copyright: Drew Gibson/Powerboat P1.
Two of Powerboat P1’s top teams – Fountain Worldwide and OSG Racing – are considering adding more boats to their roster for 2009, saying that multi-boat teams is one of the strongest ways in which the sport can expand in the future. The practice would follow most other motorsport, which feature multi-car teams.
The upside of multi-boat teams would be a further increase in the professionalism of the sport, and increased entries with lower running costs due to the shared overheads of running two boats. Sports that have had increased manufacturer input to multi-car teams have had problems with increased dominance at the front of the grid, though, leaving independent privateer teams to struggle in their wake. This is a situation that Powerboat P1’s rights holders have said they’re keen to balance.
Fountain Worldwide team boss Craig Wilson has said he’s already had interest from clients to run at least one more Evolution class boats alongside the title-winning #99 Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com entry, and could add a couple of SuperSport-class boats for good measure.
'We’ve got another boat for a new team that want to come over and race in Powerboat P1 next year,' he said. 'Our goal is definitely to have a Fountain Worldwide umbrella – two Evolution-class boats, if not three. We’ve also had three very good enquiries for SuperSport.
'I definitely think it’s a way forward. In Formula 1, they all have two-car teams. It’s good for TV, it’s a good way of running the team, it’s good for strategy – it’s good all round. We’ve already got the plan set. We just need a few signatures on a couple of dotted lines.'
OSG Racing has run boats in both the Evolution and SuperSport class this year, with the Mercury-powered #88 Kiton Outerlimits boat of Cangiano finishing third in the Evolution class, and the Mercury-powered #38 Baia High Performance Donzi of Stefano Acanfora, Renato Guidi, and Roy Capasso finishing third in the SuperSport class. Team boss Cangiano has said he’s keen to add more to the roster in 2009.
'Running the two Evolution and SuperSport class boats this year has been good, and we are considering running more boat – possibly two Evolution class entries – if we can,' he said. 'The championship definitely has space for more boats, and it would be good to have them come from the existing teams.'