Kevin Smith and Brit Lilly have added another honour to their overcrowded 2019 trophy shelf.
The pair who raced LSB Racing to the Offshore Powerboat Series (OPA) Pro Stock V (SVL) World and National and Championships received a new award, the OPA Manufacturers’ Championship presented by Porta Performance Partners.
Brit Lilly said after receiving the trophy:
We are super excited to be the inaugural winner of such a prestigious award.
We felt it was so deserving that this award celebrated the race heritage of the Extreme Powerboats’ hull and Mark Spates’ design.
We’re gunning for it again this year!
The 2020 OPA Manufacturers’ Championship celebrates the points winning boat manufacturer as well as the associated team.
At each of the 10 OPA eligible races, points will be accumulated where the best 7 out of 10 races can be chosen for the Manufacturers’ Championship points total.
Ed (Smitty) Smith, President of the OPA said:
All major race series have manufacturers heavily involved.
Whether it’s NASCAR, Formula 1, IMSA or even snowmobile racing; vehicle manufacturers, one-on-one, challenge other manufacturers.
Now it’s time to bring that aspect of our overall competition into our OPA Offshore Racing venues.
We look forward to engaging many more boat manufacturers in our series, and we put this championship at the forefront of our 2020 objectives.
In 2019, the OPA Race 6 Race Series was very diversified with many international teams and boats participating.
We attracted 37 manufacturers total, imagine what expanding it to 10 races will do.
We think attracting 50+ manufacturers is an obtainable goal.
Scott Porta of Porta Performance added:
We have racers investing more than ever in new boats, equipment and teams.
As momentum builds, there are logical next steps to support and solidify a sustained bull run in this growing market.
Our goal is to get manufacturers more involved by recognising their contribution and hopefully generating more support for the teams as well as provide hospitality for them and their clients alike.
Next in line is getting media airtime and sponsors to propel the game financially.
We see ourselves as a little gear in a big machine, with our contribution also including improved safety on the race-course so families go home with the best memories from race day.
John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.