Slipstream typically follows sports car and open wheel racing, but when big things are happening in other motorsports, we like to share them with our listeners. Something big is happening in the powerboat racing world right now!
The city of Springfield, OH and Clark County Fairgrounds have announced an exciting project with the development of the world’s first permanent multi-use powerboat racing facility that could draw large crowds.
Development is centered around a 115-acre lake located next to the Clark County Fairgrounds that started life as a small gravel pit owned and operated by a local gravel company. The lake was first used by former World Championship F1 Boat Race team owner, Bill Chatfield, as a test facility.
Video: Mike Chatfield, Facebook
City officials conducted a feasibility test with F1 Powerboat Racing drivers, Tim Seebold, Chris Fairchild and Mark Proffitt, using a four-pin course, video shown above. The drivers came away from the test praising the lake’s potential, leading to a grand from the Springfield Foundation to start the multi-phase operation.
“I’ve raced on a variety of locations from a mall retention pond to Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, this is the best and only permanent gated facility I know of for our style of boats,” said Fairchild. “This could become a great destination for all boat racers”
The first of multiple phases of the operation includes preparation for event parking and camping along with the construction of a scoring tower and grandstands. The lake’s natural shape will also lend well to the building of the staging area and pits, with space that has already handled tractor trailer rigs.
The facility will be able to host a variety of powerboat events including a variety of courses for F1 Powerboats, drag racing, and possibly grands prix. The powerboat racing community is already abuzz with the potential for large-scale events at the Ohio lake.
“Our goal is to build a state of the art permanent multi use powerboat racing facility, a one of a kind destination for the boat racing community to call home” said Dean Blair, Clark County Fair Executive Director.
With the facilities of the fairgrounds already able to draw in large crowds, large expectations are being shared by many involved.
“We’re in process of designing and building the first phase along with development of the first major event. I could see this as the Indy 500 of Powerboat racing”, stated Dana Potts of B2B Motorsports, the promoting agency associated with the project.
Photo: B2B Motorsports