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NGKF1 Inaugural Lake Race

Chris Davies on 3rd June 2021

The NGK Spark Plugs Formula One Powerboat Championship Series is bringing powerboat racing action to the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks for the first time in its history.

Building off the momentum of its first two events in Port Neches, the NGK F1 Series comes to Lake of the Ozarks for the third round of the 2021 season. The Formula 1 Lake Race is running as a companion event to the Offshore Powerboat Association’s Lake Race at Bagnell Dam on June 3-5. Lake of the Ozarks, which is celebrating its 90th Anniversary in 2021, is also the hometown of NGK F1 Series Manager, Tim Seebold. He is excited to be brining outboard racing to his hometown, which fulfils a dream he has long envisioned.

Tim Seebold said

Since the inception of the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship in 2017 we have wanted to bring F1 Powerboat racing back to Missouri. The outboard racing tradition that began 49 years ago (1972) with the Concord Village Lions Club producing the first St. Louis Grand Prix at George Winter Park in Fenton will once again thrill racing fans as the F1 boats light up the waters of my hometown at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

It is going to be a special event for powerboat racing fans to see the impressive high horsepower offshore boats, the agile F1 boats along with the crowd favourite Tri Hull division all on the water in the same day. Thanks to Tom Abbett of Lake Race and OPA’s ‘Smitty’ Smith for the shared infrastructure that has made this all possible.

OPA’s ‘Smitty’ Smith agreed

This is great news for the racing community. The NGK Spark Plug F1 series will be joining OPA Racing for the June 3,4,5 Lake Race at Lake of the Ozarks. We have learned through our partnership with P1 Powerboat how powerful these partnerships can be. I have always wanted to watch the F1 boats race, but never had the opportunity to attend one of their events. Thanks to Tim Seebold for reaching out to us. This is going to be a big boost for us all.

Tom Abbett, President of the Lake Race Board of Directors said

The Lake Race Board is extremely excited with the addition of the NGK F1 Powerboat Series to the 2021 Lake Race event.  We have been discussing this for a few months, and once Tim Seebold and I met at the racecourse site by the Dam, we knew we had to figure out a way to make it happen. This addition of different classes will certainly add to the non-stop, on-track racing action and I cannot wait to see the dead start for the F1 boats from the docks; one of the coolest starts in all of racing!  This addition will be a ‘must see’’ for boating enthusiasts and race fans of all ages.

Long-time Formula 1 racing fans will remember that the state of Missouri was once a stronghold for tunnel boat racing, as the state hosted the St. Louis Grand Prix dating back 50 years. Originally held at George Winter Park in Fenton from 1972 to 1999, the race moved to Creve Coeur Lake Park starting in 2000. The 37th and last St. Louis Grand Prix race was held in 2008.

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