Doug Wright Duo Maldonado And Adan Prepping Hard For Rookie 450R Factory Stock Season

Doug Wright Duo Maldonado And Adan Prepping Hard For Rookie 450R Factory Stock Season

For the first three days this week, Doug Wright Powerboats commanded the hallowed waters of Lake X, the historic Mercury Racing testing facility in St. Cloud, Fla. Veteran offshore racing throttleman Ricky Maldonado practiced on a buoy course with Logan Adan, his 17-year-old rookie driver, in a 38-foot 450R Factory Stock-class Doug Wright catamaran that ran as Launch Control at the 2022 Race World Offshore Key West World Championships.

Doug Wright teammates Ricky Maldonado and Logan Adan have logged 60-plus hours of practice time in their 38-footer.

A month from now, Maldonado and Adan will kick off their 2023 450R Factory Stock-class campaign at the Race World Offshore 7 Mile Grand Prix in Marathon, Fla. The event is the season-opener for the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series.

But it won’t be the first time the new cockpit duo has run a buoy course in Marathon.

“Four weeks ago, we spent three days in Marathon practicing,” said Maldonado. “We set up a course that, as close as we could get it, would be the same course for the race next month.”

Maldonado estimates that he and Adan, the son of Doug Wright owners-group member Jr. Adan, have spent 60 hours in the cockpit so far this year prepping for the upcoming season. And he is delighted with the progress of his student-racer.

“Logan is an amazing driver—one of the best I’ve ever been in a boat with,” said Maldonado. “He learns quickly. He understands quickly. And fear isn’t in his vocabulary.

Said Maldonado (right, with Jackhammer team member Connor Langheim) of the 450R Factory Stock class, “I think it’s the best thing to happen to offshore racing in 20 years.” Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Powerboat P1.

“The team has spent a lot of money on practice and testing,” he added. “It’s paying off.”

At Lake X, the team ran the equivalent of two races—10 laps each with a break to experiment with propellers and more between them—on the course. But in addition to gaining seat time together, Maldonado and Adan were testing new data-acquisition technology that revealed—via a video and audio in real time—exactly where they were gaining and time speed on the course.

Maldonado, who spent the last few seasons as the throttleman for the Super Stock Jackhammer team, sees a bright future for 450R Factory Stock. The only builders currently involved in the class, Doug Wright Powerboats and MTI will have multiple teams on the course this season—and Maldonado said he expects as many as six Doug Wright cats in the field this year. MTI will have no less than four teams in the mix.

That translates into the kind of true “factory battle” not seen since the Factory 1 and Factory 2 V-bottom classes of the early 2000s.

“It’s kind of like ‘Ford versus Ferrari’ in offshore,” Maldonado said, then chuckled. “I am very excited for this class and all the young talent it is bringing into the sport. Taylor Scism is in her 20s. Dominick Steele, who is building a Doug Wright to run with my 24 year-old-son Julian, is 23. Logan is 17. And there’s even more young competitors coming into the class this season.

“The competition is heading to a really high level,” he added. “I think it’s the best thing to happen in offshore racing in 20 years.”

There could as many as six Doug Wright 450R Factory Class-cats on the racecourse this season. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

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