LaPorte, Indiana (June 5, 2016)
Defending series and race champion Tim Seebold of the NGK Spark Plugs / Seebold Race Team fought off Indiana native and two-time race winner Terry Rinker to capture his first win of the season and record breaking 37th of his career to take the opening round of the 2016 USF1 Championship Tour at the Fourth Annual Maple City Grand Prix on Stone Lake in LaPorte, Indiana. The Osage Beach, Missouri resident started the 25-lap feature off pole position after setting the fastest qualifying time of the weekend and never looked back, holding off Terry Rinker of the Amsoil / Rinker Racing Team coming home 1.34 seconds ahead of the 2013 and 2014 race winner. “We had a real fight with Terry this weekend, he never gave us a chance to relax anytime during the final,” said Tim. “It's a great way to start off the anniversary of my sponsor with a victory and now look forward to trying to take a double at Bay City in three weeks time as well.” For Terry, he can walk away knowing he had the race fastest lap, recording a 42.42 on the eighth tour in his chase with Seebold and came close to challenging for the lead until back markers and slower traffic ended his chance of winning for the third time in four years in his home state. “We did everything we could to catch up to Seebold, but we were just a little short on horsepower in the end,” said Terry. “We'll go back to Florida and see what we can do to catch up for Bay City. I guarantee, we'll be ready.” Reaching the podium with his third place finish for the third straight year was Illinois driver Chris Fairchild who started second and held off a determined returning champion Greg Foster driving the Dillard Financial Solutions DAC Italian built boat. Chris was 6.43 seconds ahead of Greg at races end with Foster ending up ahead of Rob Rinker who was fifth in the second Rinker Racing boat racing in his eighth career Grand Prix. Taking sixth was Mike Klepadlo of Gaylord, Michigan who had his best result in the last few years in his first race ever in LaPorte. Seventh and eighth were the Mendana brothers out of Miami, Florida with Jose entering the race coming off with a fresh second place finish in the Formula Lights event and hoping for his first podium in over a year on the tour. His brother Carlos, who started sixth finished eighth while chasing his second top-five finish in his racing history in LaPorte. Rounding out the top-ten, was the Welch family from Minnesota, with father Mark finishing just ahead of son Tyler who started tenth and finished tenth while Mark started 11th and moved up two places to take ninth. Earlier in the afternoon, the Formula Lights race saw Jason Nelson of Atlanta, Georgia take the victory with Jose Mendana, Jr. of Miami finished second and fellow Florida driver Steven Lee come home in third after suspected winner RJ West from California was disqualified from his victory in scrutineering an hour after the event. The second round of the 2016 USF1 Championship Tour takes place on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of June at the annual Bay City River Roar on the Saginaw River on downtown Bay City, Michigan. You can follow all the news of the series by going to www.nasfracing.org. Enjoy the racing excitement and fun by following ...USF1!
LaPorte, Indiana (May 17, 2016)
The US F1 Powerboat Tour is on its way back to LaPorte for the 4th Annual Maple City Grand Prix. The City of LaPorte in conjunction with Visit Michigan City LaPorte is excited to host this national premier tunnel boat race that will race again on Stone Lake in LaPorte, Indiana the weekend of June 3-June 5. The Grand Prix will kick off the US F1 series, serving as the season opening race. F1 President Jose Mendana Jr. said, "USF1 is real excited to kick off the 2016 season once again in LaPorte. With the competition changes made in the offseason, the fans of Maple City Grand Prix are going to see some of the fiercest and best competition they have seen in the four year history of the event. We expect to have around 45 race teams including once again the aspiring youngsters in their Junior Hydroplanes". There will be lots of racing, fun and entertainment for everyone. Friday night will feature the Boat Parade starting at 6:15pm and Downtown Block Party with The Point’ n Fingers Band. On Saturday night stay in the park after the time trials and enjoy the Elwood Splinters Blues Band and Junior and the Igniters as well as a fireworks display by Melrose Pyrotechnics. Sunday caps off the weekend with the Maple City Grand Prix finals and the awards ceremony. Also, there will be a VIP tented brunch on the beach catered by Spire Farm to Fork. USF1 Powerboats feature a combination of speed, power and technology. Capable of speeds over 140 mph, this category of racing features some of the biggest and most powerful engines in Powerboat Racing. From 0 to 100 in 6 seconds with 180 degree turning capabilities create force up to 5g’s; that translates to boats reaching amazing speeds as they skim across the water and turn on a dime! Tunnel boats are the fastest turning vehicles in the world. The 2015 economic impact study conducted by Certec, Inc. of Versailles, KY for Visit Michigan City LaPorte showed that the impact generated from non-local visitors to the Maple City Grand Prix almost doubled from 2013 to 2015. The report states that in the inaugural year of the race, $467,000 was injected into the local and in 2015 that number reached $811,000. Race schedules are ready now, so pick up a copy at Visit Michigan City LaPorte office, 4073 S Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN 46360 or Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce, 803 Washington Street, LaPorte, IN 46350 and you can view it online at www.MapleCityGrandPrix.com. Recently I had a conversation with the co-chairmen of the race, Brett Binversie and Thaddeus Cutler. They said, “We are very excited and honored to be chairing this wonderful event this year on behalf of the City of LaPorte. This is another event that reflects the collaboration between Visit Michigan City LaPorte and the City of LaPorte working as hoped. We feel that this will be our best year ever with a weekend chocked full of excitement from morning until night. We are excited to welcome new partners to this year’s race. Starting Friday evening the “Hub of Awesome” will be alive with excitement throughout the weekend. We have a variety of VIP events scheduled Friday through Sunday with even more family entertainment, music and vendors than year’s past. So, we encourage everyone to come out to Stone Lake and bring your friends”. For more information on the 4th Annual Maple City Grand Prix, contact: Contact Brett Binversie (219)362-2325 or Thad Cutler (219)362-3178 for further information.
LaPorte, Indiana (Sept 10, 2015)
Mayor Blair Milo stated, “Throughout the Maple City Grand Prix we consistently hear from the race teams how much they enjoy and appreciate LaPorte. The community has done an awesome job in supporting events like the downtown boat parade and block party, the fireworks as well as the races throughout the weekend. All weekend long the race teams are welcomed with warmth and hospitality making for new friendships, exciting race events and strong economic growth for the community. Great job, LaPorte!” Jack Arnett, Executive Director of the LaPorte County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, stated, ”We had almost double the number of race teams we’ve had previously this year, so these numbers make sense with what we saw and who we talked to. Word has spread in the F1 community that LaPorte is a great community to race in, and the teams love it!” An independent economic impact report conducted by Certec, Inc. of Versailles, KY for the LaPorte County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau shows that the impact generated from non-local visitors to the Maple City Grand Prix almost doubled from 2013 to 2015. The report states that in the inaugural year of the race, $467,000 of revenue was injected into the LaPorte County economy due to non-local visitors. In 2015 that number reached $811,000. A staggering number when one reads that participation at the race was considerably lower than the first year, largely contributed to by extremely poor weather conditions. Data was collected from a survey given to 100 travel parties at the event as well as information gathered from the event organizers. Key findings included the following: Non-local visitors to the event contributed nearly $811,000 to LaPorte County’s economy in 2015 compared to $467,000 for the 2013 event. Direct expenditures by travelers to the event accounted for $542,000 of this total. These visitors generated over $212,000 in tax revenues to government: $78,000 to the state government, $42,000 to the local government, and $92,000 to the federal government. The event-generated jobs provided over $185,000 in wages to LaPorte County workers. The three days of wage contributions are equivalent to 12 jobs created by the event. The report only addresses spending of non-local visitors and estimates the impact from local visitors to be at least an additional $136,000 in direct spending to the tourism industry.