The 222 Offshore Australia team, who finished runners-up in the 2019 Class 1 Championship, have announced plans to return to the race series in the United States next year. The team has been grounded in Australia throughout the pandemic due to international travel restrictions but, with the world slowly opening for business and travel, plans are in place for the 222 catamaran to return to action in 2022.
‘Putting racing aside, it’s been a challenging time in general over the last two years’ said driver Darren Nicholson. ‘It’s great to be making firm plans to return to the US and go racing again, and we’ll be looking to go one better than when we finished second behind the Dubai-based Victory Team in 2019.’
Class 1 racing will kick off next May in Cocoa Beach on Florida’s Space Coast and the 222 Offshore team will head to the US in March to start preparing the boat for a full season of racing.
‘Our gear is always well looked after and before the crew flew back to Australia in 2019 the Mercury Racing 1100 Competition engines were put to bed and stored for the off-season’ explained Nicholson. ‘We were expecting that to last just three months, not two years, so I suspect there will be plenty of work ahead of us.’
With the team planning to spend a significant amount of time in the US next year, they are now looking to set up their own race shop on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
‘We have the advantage of being familiar with the race sites and we’ve gained a solid supporter base over there, so we really want to come back in 2022 with a fresh look and some exciting marketing initiatives’ commented 222 Offshore Marketing Manager Skye Gregory.
P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala said he was delighted with the decision made by 222 Offshore Australia to return to Class 1 next year.
‘This is superb news in respect of our aim to grow the class in the United States and at the same time develop plans to globalise the series over the coming years with a strong line-up of international teams.’
He concluded by saying that he wanted to return Class 1 to the summit of offshore racing by attracting more teams and building up the worldwide television audience.