New Class 1 Team To Fly The Flag For Norway In 2023
- Sudrheim Offshore Racing aiming to repeat the success of Spirit of Norway
- Ove Troen building experienced team to challenge for the world title
- Florida-based team to compete in Victory catamaran with Mercury Racing 1100s
Powerboat P1, the exclusive worldwide rights holder for the UIM Class 1 World Championship, has announced that Sudrheim Offshore Racing will be joining the race series next year. The Norwegian team will be based at Sanford in Central Florida and make its first appearance in the opening event of the 2023 race series.
The Sudrheim team has considerable experience of offshore powerboat racing at the highest level, with almost everyone having been a member of the legendary Spirit of Norway team which made its Class 1 debut in 1997 and won five world titles, including three consecutively.
Team owner and driver Ove Troen described entering UIM Class 1 as “a longtime dream that has finally come true after three years of planning.”
“I’m proud to have put together a talented and vastly experienced team that includes throttleman Pal Virik Nilsen, technical director Rolf Arnestad and consultant Gro Helgesen. It’s exciting that Class 1 is growing and that we will compete at the pinnacle of offshore racing. I can’t wait to get the whole organization welded together and to test the boat.” Troen is Chairman of Sudrheim Gruppen, a family-owned investment firm specializing in property ownership, development and green innovation, including involvement in the hotel industry and aviation. The company owns hotels in Arendal, Norway’s leading maritime town and powerboat racing venue, where Troen says he “grew up with Class 1.”
Troen and Virik Nilsen will compete in a 43-foot Victory catamaran that was originally raced by the Qatar team. It will undergo a complete rebuild with new Mercury Racing V8 1100 Competition engines arriving at the team workshop at the end of January. Testing is scheduled to get underway in late March and the plan is to gain some race experience before heading to the opening Class 1 event of the season.
“I am very happy to be part of this new Class 1 team with such experienced colleagues, and sharing the boat with Ove will be interesting and fun,” said Virik Nilsen, who boasts more than thirty years in both circuit and offshore powerboat racing with over 300 races under his belt. “I’ve competed in more than fifty Class 1 races and it will be my job to ease Ove into the series and make him feel confident in both me and the boat,” added Virik Nilsen.
Arnestad, who has more than twenty years’ experience in the world of motorsport as a mechanic and crew chief, is optimistic about Sudrheim’s prospects in the highly competitive Class 1 World Championship and believes that it won’t be long before they are battling for podium places. Consultant Gro Helgesen entered powerboat racing with the Spirit of Norway team in 2000 and ran the Qatar team from 2008 to 2016. She will help Troen build the new team and is excited that Norway will again have a Class 1 team.
“We are delighted that Sudrheim Offshore Racing will be flying the flag for Norway next season in the UIM Class 1 race series and we can now look forward to enjoying another Scandinavian team battling for the world title,” said Powerboat P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala. “Our principal goal is to grow the Class 1 championship commercially and promote the series both in the United States and internationally to deliver enhanced value for race teams, host venues, sponsors and partners. We will return Class 1 to the summit of offshore racing by attracting more teams and building the worldwide television audience.”