2nd Place Overall for ...
2nd Place Overall for #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits
The #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits launched the season opener in Malta by bringing home 171 of the 200 possible points, and the team was highlighted in a full color spread across the center section of the Monday edition of Malta's newspaper THE TIMES.
The Outerlimits SV43 hull scored a resounding one-two punch
with the #88 OSG Outerlimits taking first place followed by the #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits in second. The back-to-back 2008 and 2009 Malta Grand Prix wins for Outerlimits demonstrates the true versatility of the Outerlimits SV43, especially with this year's unusually flat seas in contrast to last year's typically rough waters.
The #77 team was graced with visits from Malta's Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi; President, Edward Fenech-Adami; and Minister of Finance, Tonio Fenech, who came aboard for pictures with the team.
Friday's race action heated up in the Power Pole, when the #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits was announced as taking first place and the #88 OSG Outerlimits taking second, and this was later reversed with a time of only 2/10th of a second to divide the two Outerlimits teams.
The green flag dropped on Saturday's sprint race with 14 race boats lined up off the transom of the pace boat. While the #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits commanded an early lead, in very close contention was Luca Fendi driving the #10 Cigarette and the #88 OSG Outerlimits in hot pursuit. By the second lap the #10 subsequently slipped into first place.
Saturday's sprint race finished with the Italian teams, #10 and #88, taking first and third respectively, the American team, #77, in second, the German team, #66 Searex, in fourth, and the British entry, #47 Silverline, in fifth. "You have to be pleased with result, we chose a conservative set-up to gauge the speed of the fleet", commented Mike Fiore after commanding the#77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits to the second place.
On Sunday, the endurance race began in similar fashion. The #10 Cigarette took the inside line. "Our strategy was to sit on their transom and push from behind," said Nigel Hook, throttleman of the #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits. "This puts a ton of pressure on a team, and it's a long race."
By lap four the #10 Cigarette took a dive inside a slower boat on corner F, and spectacularly spun out. "I saw it coming," said Joe Sgro, driver of the #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits. "It was right in front of us and all I could do was steer out of their way. Which was into first place!" From that point until four laps remained for the race, the American team ruled first place. But a gremlin would intervene in the form of a simple water hose bursting on the starboard side cooling system.
Securing third place in the endurance race combined with the second place points from the previous day totaled second overall for the Chief engine powered, Whipple supercharged, #77 Lucas Oil Budweiser Outerlimits. "I was quite pleased at the end of day, especially as Malta is a big market for Lucas Oil products and we have the Lucas Oil distributor Eurocas here with their customers to cheer us on," said Hook.
The three days of exciting racing action was the perfect platform to host the team's honored guest -- Eric J. Lednicky, Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Navy -- who had been granted permission to include this stop on his return home after completing his tour of duty in the Middle-East.
Dustin Whipple of Whipple Superchargers and Tommy Hoffsteter, owner of Chief Engines traveled with the team to ensure that everything ran smooth so far from home base. They joined both Lucas Oil and Outerlimits in welcoming the opportunity in Malta to represent Anheuser-Busch and their iconic American legend -- Budweiser.