When Powerboat P1, which holds the marketing rights for Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 racing, allowed JBS Racing into the 2022 Championships Series, its goal was to build the fledgling fleet. The United Kingdom-based organization launched its revival of the once-global offshore racing class in 2019, but faced pandemic-driven setbacks during the next two seasons. Coming back strong in 2023 was essential—maybe even make-or-break for Class 1 revival—and boat-count mattered.
Running naturally aspirated engines from Sixteen Power, JBS Racing had a fine 2022 Class 1 season—and one that was a successful proving ground for the 16-cylinder mills. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But for JBS Racing, the five-race regular season and three-race post-season Race World Offshore Championships in Key West, Fla., was all about proving the reliability of its naturally aspirated Sixteen Power V-16 engines. JBS team owner and driver Jeff Stevenson, a veteran offshore racer who came out of retirement to join throttleman Micheal Stancombe in the team’s MTI catamaran, is a significant investor in the Detroit-based engine company.
That the team claimed third place in the 2022 Class 1 series, as well as the Race World Offshore-produced event, was a sucess itself for Stevenson, Stancombe and the Sixteen Power group. And the engines required minimal maintenance during the season, according to company representative Tom Robinson.
“All we did was change oil and plugs—we never even opened a valve cover,” he said. “That’s remarkable in a sport where frequent engine changes are the norm.”
Better still for everyone involved, the post-season tear-down and dynamometer-testing of one of the cat’s two 1,100-hp engines paints an exceptional portrait durability in a demanding environment.
“Both engines are out of the boat now, and after tearing down one engine and dyno testing it we can report that there were no mechanical issues and no loss of power,” Robinson explained. “This proof of reliability is the reason Sixteen Power went racing.”
A before-and-after dyno graph from Sixteen Power of one of the V-16 engines that ran for a full season in the JBS Racing catamaran. The black lines are pre-season dyno performance. The red lines are post-season dyno performance.
With twin Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines as required spec-power as Class 1 moves forward, which always was the plan for the category, JBS Racing will be moving into the American Power Boat Association Unlimited class in a new 46-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran currently under construction at the Douglas, Mich. The cat will be powered by turbocharged 1,600-plus-hp Sixteen Power engines.
“The proving ground for this engine will be the Unlimited class,” said Robinson. “Unlimited has been plagued by DNFs in the past, and that’s something we would like to change.”
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