This year (2007) the Twin City Powerboat Association (Minnesota, Region 8) introduced a new OPC Sportsman class called GT Pro. This class was designed as a graduation from our very successful Mini GT class.
While Mini GT uses 25 hp fishing motors with aluminum propellers, GT Pro steps up to 35 hp and allows any propeller as well as trim.
For 2007 there were only two full-fledged GT Pro boats on the water, and the addition of some Mini GT boats was required to make up the numbers. But we pulled off GT Pro races at most of our events, and managed to generate some close racing and spectator enthusiasm.
For 2008, we are on course to have six to eight drivers in the class, with the possibility of more. GT Pro is shaping up to
be a boatbuilder's class, with three boats already built, another under construction, and three more to be built this winter including one by yours truly. (FULL DISCLOSURE: Plans for all these boats were purchased from me at dillon-racing.com).
However, you do not have to build your own boat to race GT Pro. Composite boats from such makers as Gran Prix, Critchfield, Camo, Racemaster, Rinker, Mirage, Furnel and others should make excellent GT Pro raceboats.
Here are the basic rules:
Minimum age 14-years-old
Boats of any style, any material, at least ten feet long and four feet wide, 650 lbs. total weight
A seat, and a foot throttle are required
35 hp Johnson, Evinrude or Mercury fishing motors, 32 cubic inches max.
Hydraulic trim is allowed
Any propeller is allowed
So far, speeds in the upper forties have been achieved using slightly modified off-the-shelf propellers. We anticipate breaking the 50 mph mark with proper racing props. Ron Hill is working on some for us right now.
If you live in or near Minnesota and are looking for a simple, inexpensive class to race, GT Pro might be for you. Or start even simpler in Mini GT (production molded boats only, minimum age 12-years-old). Both classes are great places to get started in racing, or back into racing, or maybe as an alternative to driving on your knees.
More information at http://www.dillon-racing.com and http://www.twincitypowerboatracing.com.