Just two offshore racing seasons ago, Taylor Scism was a novice driver in an exhibition class. Now she and throttleman John Tomlinson are the 2022 American Power Boat Association national champions and Union Internationale Motonautique world champions in the 450R Factory Stock class she spearheaded in the first canopied MTI 390XR catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines.
With Shaun Torrente subbing for John Tomlinson as throttleman, Taylor Scism drove her first TS Motorsports catamaran in her first race at the 2021 APBA Offshore National Championship Series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Powerboat P1.
In 2021, Scism started racing—and kicked off the class alongside Tomlinson in the cockpit—with the blessing and backing of her father, Randy, the founder and owner of Wentzville, Mo.-headquartered MTI. (Her mother, Cherell, eventually warmed up to the idea.) Despite being the only team in the still-unofficial class that season, they ran a full complement of races and put their time in the 39-footer, which they augmented with practice sessions in Florida and Missouri, to good use.
The 450R Factory Stock category became an official APBA class in 2022. By the time the Race World Offshore-produced world championships in Key West, Fla., rolled around last November there were enough 450R Factory Stock teams registered to compete for a UIM title. And Scism and Tomlinson were right there to claim it.
In what is shaping up to be a good-natured “factory battle,” both MTI and Doug Wright Powerboats will have several teams running their catamarans in the still-growing category. Scism said she believes the 450R outboard provided an essential and durable foundation for the category.
Though Scism will run TS Motorsports MTI catamaran No. 3 this season, she describes all three 39-footers she’s piloted as “identical.” Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“I think it’s great to have a reliable, factory ready motor to bolt on and go,” she explained. “With that and the fact that so many manufacturers have pleasure hulls that fit the parameters of the class, I thought it would grow over time. I’m excited about having a multitude of teams at the season-opener in Marathon (Fla.).”
Scism will, of course, be shooting for another championship season in her third new canopied MTI 390XR to date. She knows she has a long way to go before she’ll catch her multiple offshore national- and world-championship-winning father.
But she’s already ahead of him in one category. She’s the first world champion in a class she helped start.
Taylor Scism and John Tomlinson are hoping to successfully defend their 450R Factory Stock-class titles this season.
Editor’s note: “MTI At 25” is a weekly series on speedonthewater.com celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. A new installment will go live every Wednesday on speedonthewater.com through the end of the year.
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