American Power Boat Association Approves Mercury Racing 860 Engines for Super Cat Class
After review by its Offshore Racing Commission, the American Power Boat Association has officially approved Mercury Racing 860 engines for use by Super Cat class teams for the 2022 season. The organization’s board of directors has finalized the adoption of the naturally aspirated fuel-injected engines for use in the class last weekend.
Super Cat class teams will have two power options this season. Photos from the 2021 American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique World Championships in Key West, Florida by Pete Boden, copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
In early January, Super Cat team owners voted unanimously to approve engines from Fond du Lac, Wis., for the class. The owners notified Rich Luhrs, who chairs the APBA offshore racing category, and the approval process began.
“I believe there are two or three teams interested in the 860 package this season,” Luhrs said.
The existing 750 hp naturally aspirated carbureted original specification engines for the class remain an option for teams that prefer to stick with their existing horsepower. Teams that opt for high-output Mercury Racing 860 engines will incur a weight penalty based on the length of their boats.
The decision to adopt Mercury Racing 860s in the Super Cat class was led by the SV Racing team.
Currently, only the SV race The team’s Vinnie Diorio and Simon Prevost have the 860 horsepower engines in their race boat. Their installation of these engines two seasons ago officially forced them out of the Super Cat ranks—at least under APBA rules for earning class points—for those seasons. Now they can officially compete in the Super Cat ranks with these engines in their 39ft Outerlimits Catamaran.
“It’s great to see our class progressing,” Diorio said. “I think there are a few others making the switch, which is exciting. The reliability will help more boats to be there at the checkered flag, which should make it more exciting for the fans. And I hope it will be more profitable for the teams.
Although Tyler Miller, the new Super Cat Owners Representative and owner of CON M team, plans to stick with its Sterling Performance engine program this season, he views the adoption of the new rule as a positive move.
“The adoption of Mercury 860s in the Super Cat class is a step that at one point seemed impossible to achieve,” he said. “However, with a class ready to continue the progression and the number of boats, it became a reality. The class collectively had multiple in-depth discussions which led us to the rules as they are written.
Miller explained that he and his fellow Super Cat Class Owners Team owners understand that moving to Mercury Racing 860 engines will be “a work in progress” with the added horsepower and “how that will correlate to different manufacturers boats and running surfaces.”
“At the end of the day, there are several teams that are happy with their current engine programs as well as the teams that are happy with the Mercury 860 program,” he said. “Adopting it into the regulations allows for continued growth in the class with phenomenal competition on the course in front of all the fans and spectators.”
Editor’s note: Tyler Miller’s comments were added after the original story was uploaded today.
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