BAY CITY — The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship is pleased to announce that race fans will be delighted as they, once again, get to hear the roar of these 120+ mph F1 rockets that have etched their name into Bay City history as a wildly popular fixture on the tough Saginaw River — a racing tradition spanning 31 years.
Sponsored by local company, Real Flavors, the event now dubbed “Rockin on the River,” invites fans to gather at Wenonah Park and the Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Bay City, located just 1.75 hours north of Detroit, for a 360-degree view of the deck-to-deck boat racing action held on one of the most challenging courses drivers will ever face. The narrow straightaways, seawall swells, sharp turns and wicked cross-winds blowing through the buildings can bring even the most experienced racer to the brink of disaster.
Series Manager, Tim Seebold, a multi-F1 champion and an eight-time winner in Bay City in F1/Champ and SST 140 classes, knows how dangerous this river can be, as he has taken that ambulance ride after a crash here more than once. “The fastest boat doesn’t necessarily win in Bay City. To win, you first have to conquer the tricky Saginaw River because she can bite you,” Seebold warned.
Winners in past years:
2005: Tim Seebold
2006: Terry Rinker
2007: Tim Seebold
2008: Shaun Torrente
2009: Tim Seebold
2010: Chris Fairchild
2011: Shaun Torrente
2012: Terry Rinker
2013: Tim Seebold
2014: Terry Rinker
2015: Tim Seebold
2016: Greg Foster
2017: Terry Rinker
2018: No race
Other racing categories that will have fans on their feet are two classes that will be in Bay City vying for the APBA North American Championship title: the smaller, flighty F-Light tunnels and the careening, rock-em-sock-em Tri Hulls. Fans will also enjoy the 9-16-year-old junior pilots putting on a show in the zippy J-Hydro class. They can catch all the racing action on both Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9:00 a.m., with the Finals on Sunday afternoon. General admission is only $5.00 for seating on the east side of the Saginaw River at Wenonah Park.
Along with all the wild NGK F1PC racing action, water stunts, food, drinks and other vendors — thousands of fans will head to Wenonah Park for the evening concerts on both Friday and Saturday nights to see world-famous bands, such as Kansas, Uncle Kracker and The Verve Pipe. See www.ngkf1.com/bay-city/ for more concert details.
Currently leading the 2019 NGK F1 points chase is #20 Ashton Rinker, racing for “Rinker Boat World,” son of 2017 Bay City winner Terry Rinker, who retired in 2018. Rinker, of Riverview, Florida, has won the first two races of the 2019 NGK F1 season and is 42 points ahead of #62 Chris Fairchild from Paw Paw, Illinois, who drives for Team McCollough Racing. #94 Rusty Wyatt of Ontario, Canada is 87 points away from the lead and sits in third place.
Drivers to watch: In the F-Lights class: #6 Mark Schmerbauch of Wisconsin won the season opener in Port Neches, Texas and currently sits at the top of the leaderboard. In the Tri-Hull class, #1 Cory Walker of Richmond, Texas holds the points leader position, ahead of drivers #33 John Ottinger and #21 Jerry Rinker. In J-Hydro, Shane Butler hopes to hang onto his points lead.
Full 2019 NGK F1 season schedule:
May 3-5: Port Neches, Texas – F1 Winner: #20 Ashton Rinker
June 28-29: Toledo, Ohio – F1 Winner: #20 Ashton Rinker
Airs: Sunday, July 14, 2019, 12:30 pm. ET
July 12-14: Bay City, Michigan – F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro
*APBA F-Light (SST45) North American Championships
*APBA Tri Hull North American Championships
Airs: Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
August 2-4: Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania – F1, F-Light
*APBA F-Light (SST45) Divisional Championships
Airs: Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
August 9-11: Springfield, Ohio – F1, F-Light, J-Hydro
*APBA F-Light (SST45) Divisional Championships
Airs: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
August 31-September 1: Windsor, Colorado – F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro
*APBA F1 National Championships
*APBA F-Light (SST45) National Championships
*APBA Tri Hull National Championships
Airs: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, 5:30 a.m. ET
Greenlight TV will film the NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship racing action all season long, producing a 30-minute show of each event to air on CBS Sports Network. “Rockin the River” will air on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, at 12:30 pm. EST.
If you miss it, you can watch the shows on Motor Trend On Demand for a minimal fee. In 2018, CBS Sports Network television coverage reached 2.7 billion households, with 45 airings of the six episodes (a 225% increase over 2017, and a 420% increase worldwide to 9 billion households). To view the shows on-demand, visit: https://www.motortrendondemand.com/show/us-f1-powerboats-championship-/73231972/.
Live-Streamed racing action will be filmed by Greenlight TV to air on NGK F1’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NGKF1PowerboatChampionship. Find additional information on the NGK Spark Plugs Powerboat Championship on our website, www.NGKF1PowerboatChampionship.com.
The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship is ecstatic to have the strong commitment of title sponsor, NGK Spark Plugs — The Ignition Specialist. Since 1936, NGK Spark Plugs has been the world leader in technology, innovation and world-class quality in the design of spark plugs and oxygen sensors. Today, NGK manufactures NGK Spark Plugs and NTK Oxygen Sensors for virtually every automotive manufacturer in the world.
NGK has built a reputation for quality and reliability, and a commitment to excellence continues to be the driving force behind the company’s advanced research and development programs. In North America, NGK is headquartered in Wixom, Michigan and maintains manufacturing, inventory and distribution facilities in Irvine, California, Sissonville, West Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois.
For more information about NGK Spark Plugs, (USA), Inc., please visit our website www.ngksparkplugs.com.
Source: NGK F1 Powerboat Championship