2019 NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Bay City, Michigan

NGK F1 Teams Chasing

Undefeated Rinker At Halfway Point In The Season

Written by Jason Johnson

Over the next couple of weeks, the teams in the NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship are going to be working hard to figure out a way to beat the defending series champion, Ashton Rinker, who has won three straight races to open the season following his victory in the series’ halfway point in Bay City, Mich., last weekend.

Ashton Rinker won his third straight NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship race in Bay City, Mich., on Sunday, leaving the rest of the field wondering how to beat the yellow No. 20 boat. 

“I’m excited for the next race in Pittsburgh, which is one of my favorite courses,” Rinker said following another dominant performance in front of thousands of spectators in Bay City. “I love Pittsburgh. We won there last year and that’s when everything started rolling. I’m looking forward to going back there and continuing our championship run.”

Finishing in second behind the Riverview, Fla., driver who is sponsored by Rinker’s Boat World and McLain Trailers, was Canadian driver Rusty Wyatt in his Triple R Racing boat sponsored by Crystal Clear Wiper Blades.

Wyatt, who finished in second place at the race in Toledo, Ohio, and fourth place in the season-opener in Port Neches, Texas, said he is focused on getting his No. 94 boat running perfectly before the race in Pittsburgh (August 2-4).

“We made the best of it in Bay City considering we were trying to keep the motor together for the last 10 laps,” Wyatt said. “We’ve got a few more tricks to try for Pittsburgh. We’re running a big boat for our engine package, but we have some decent propellers to test to make it pop and a few more adjustments to make. Ted Gryguc and the guys at Speedmaster Marine have been a big help.

“The racing has been great so far this season—Tim (Seebold) and the NGK F1 team have done an excellent job promoting the series,” he continued. “It was nice to be back in Bay City and the racing in Pittsburgh should be very competitive. It’s a big course with some wild water so it is going to be a fun one to watch. Then we head to Springfield, Ohio, the following week (Aug. 9-11) and that’s a very technical course.”

After Springfield, the season finale takes place in Windsor, Colo. (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). Until then though, the rest of the drivers, including veteran Chris Fairchild (currently third in the standings behind Wyatt) and Spencer Love, who finished third in Bay City, have a lot of work to do to catch the current points leader—Rinker, the son of multiple time tunnel boat national champion Terry Rinker.

All photos courtesy Kevin Pyles/MOTO Marketing Group


2019 NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Bay City, Michigan

Pre Race Report

Author: Val Collins OSAGE BEACH, MO: The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship is extremely proud to be bringing exhilarating powerboat racing action back to the Bay City, MI on July 12-14, 2019 after a hiatus. 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 8-time winner in Bay City in F1/Champ and SST 140 classes, he 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 their 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. You can catch all the racing action on both Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00 am, with the Finals on Sunday afternoon. General admission is only $5.00!

The races are viewable only from Wenonah Park and the Veterans Memorial Park viewing is closed to the public due to flooding.

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, FL has won the first two races of the 2019 NGK F1 season and is 42 points ahead of #62 Chris Fairchild from Paw Paw, IL who drives for Team McCollough Racing. #94 Rusty Wyatt of Ontario, CAN is 87 points away from the leader 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, TX and currently sits at the top of the leaderboard. In the Tri-Hull class, #1 Cory Walker of Richmond, TX 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, TX F1 Winner: #20 Ashton Rinker
Jun 28-29: Toledo, OH F1 Winner: #20 Ashton Rinker
Airs: Sunday, July 14, 2019, 12:30 PM ET
Jul 12-14: Bay City, MI – F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro
*APBA F-Light (SST45) North American Championships
*APBA Tri Hull North American Championships
Airs: Sunday, August 4, 2019 12:30 PM ET
Aug 2-4: Pittsburgh, PA – F1, F-Light
*APBA F-Light (SST45) Divisional Championships
Airs: Sunday, August 18, 2019 12:30 PM ET
Aug 9-11: Springfield, OH – F1, F-Light, J-Hydro
*APBA F-Light (SST45) Divisional Championships
Airs: Sunday, August 25, 2019 12:30 PM ET
Aug 31-Sep 1: Windsor, CO – F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro
*APBA F1 National Championships
*APBA F-Light (SST45) National Championships
*APBA Tri Hull National Championships
Airs: Sunday, September 22, 2019 5:30 AM 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 August 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 6 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, MI and maintains manufacturing, inventory, and distribution facilities in Irvine, CA, Sissonville, WV, and Chicago, IL.

Get more information on the exciting NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship by visiting www.NGKF1PowerboatChampionship.com , or follow NGK F1 Powerboat Championship on Facebook.