To complement the world champion Miss GEICO Offshore Racing Team, the country's second-largest private passenger auto insurance company—GEICO—announced it will be sponsoring both a Powerboat P1 SuperStock USA raceboat and an AquaX racer this season.
Azam Rangoonwala (right) is excited to have GEICO on board for the 2016 Powerboat P1 USA and AquaX racing seasons.
The GEICO-branded P1 Panther raceboat will be driven by veteran racer Craig Wilson, who claimed a couple of Powerboat P1 Evolution-class world titles years ago when the series showcased twin-engine offshore V-bottoms racing at exotic destinations around Europe and beyond.
Wilson and company will make their first appearance at the season opener in Tavares, Fla., in early April. Seasoned rider Jason Russo will take to the water later that month in Daytona, Fla., to fly the flag for GEICO in the P1 AquaX Pro Enduro Championship.
Wilson, who launched onto the racing scene in 2002 and and remains closely connected to the industry between Wilson Custom Marine in Stuart, Fla., and the Miss GEICO team, said he is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the P1 Panther.
“I’ve enjoyed watching the one-design series both at events and on television and it looks to be hugely competitive,” explained Wilson, who said he'll be racing alongside one of a few of the younger Miss GEICO crewmembers at each of the four races on the schedule. “To lift the SuperStock title, the GEICO team will need to quickly get to grips with the Panther boat and perform consistently well against some impressive teams. I'm excited to be racing with the P1 family again. It won't be the fastest boat I've ever raced, but it will keep me sharp and it should be a blast.”
Craig Wilson said the GEICO team will start testing in the next few weeks.
“We are delighted to welcome GEICO Racing to our two race series and for Powerboat P1 USA to become part of the company’s marine motorsport marketing platform,” said Powerboat P1 USA director Azam Rangoonwala. “I’m very excited about the prospect of seeing the whole GEICO fleet compete in the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix over the Fourth of July weekend.”