P1: Mercury Racing French GP summary

The Mercury Racing powered ...

The Mercury Racing powered #77 LUCAS OIL Skater heads into Malta tied for second place in the World Championship standings. With strong enthusiasm Captain Nigel Hook announced his team would be introducing an additional pilot for the Maltese Grand Prix: fellow American and famed Throttleman Rich Wyatt.

Based out of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Rich has been racing for many years in both monohulls and catamarans. In the USA he currently competes in Superboat Unlimited Class against Miss Geico and Bud Light. Also heading to Powerboat P1 is the Bud Light Throttleman, John Tomlinson.

Wyatt will take the throttles and Hook the helm for Sunday's Sprint race in the Mercury Racing powered #77 LUCAS OIL. Resident team driver Shelley Jory will take the helm for the Power Pole time trials and the Endurance race on Saturday with Hook back on the throttles.

"With three days of racing, time trials, and mandatory practice sessions, it is prudent insurance to have a multi-talented team," said Hook.

Friday May 23, 2008 - Similar to the Power Pole in Italy, the fastest boat again was the diesel powered Italian entry #60 GFN Gibellata. A testimony to the simple yet effective power-to-weight formula of P1 was the close grouping time-wise of these very powerful monohulls running independently for their fastest lap. Partly by lap times and partly by strategy, #77 LUCAS OIL selected lane three from the Pace Boat and close to the shore side of the start.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 - The P1 Evolution race boats are now dialed in to the new start procedure for the 100-mile Endurance Race, which was reduced to 80 miles in consideration of the 35 knot Mistral winds. The Evolution race boats followed the pace boat in turning 90 degrees and pointed towards the first turn.

Both Mercury Racing powered boats, the #10 Cigarette and #77 LUCAS OIL Skater, again made a strong start. The #99 Fountain WorldWide and the #69 Skater collided with each other. The #77 LUCAS OIL Skater apparently hit something submerged, damaging the nose cone of the stern drive and dropping them back to eighth place, picking up just 10 points.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 A great start to a challenging day: headlines in the Marseille paper and a shot of the bright red #77 LUCAS OIL. The rain was holding off, but the cloud-filled skies, or the Formula One race down the street in Monaco, reduced the crowds which had been estimated at 100,000 people the day before. The Corniche provided a perfect grandstand for the motor racing fans that were seeing the first major power boat race in Marseille in 8 years. It was probably a broken battery plate from the prior day's rough race which caused intermittent electrical failures in the #77 LUCAS OIL.

A fifth place was gladly taken to keep the team tied for second place points in the series. Overall winner of Powerboat P1 Rounds One and Two and awarded the 2008 FRENCH GRAND PRIX of the SEA - #99 Fountain World Wide, throttled by Craig Wilson and driven by James Sheppard.

-credit: mercury racing

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About this article
Series Boat
Drivers John Tomlinson , Nigel Hook