Muscat: Powerboat P1, the fastest growing marine motorsport series is keen to establish a race series in Oman, a top official informed. Speaking exclusively to Times Sport, James Durbin, Chief Executive Officer of Powerboat P1, said his company is also planning to organise an exhibition event in Oman in 2013.
"We are very keen to establish a racing series in Oman. We have a number of conversations taking place in that regard," said Durbin without revealing the details.
Powerboat P1 has so far organised more than 85 world championship races in 12 different countries. As part of its plans to expand in the Middle East, Powerboat P1 has already received the rights to host the Superstock UAE Championship in Dubai and according to Durbin, the global plan is to have up to 40 national level racing series by 2020, with the winners all qualifying for the World
"We have selected the UAE as our first national series in the Middle East as UAE has a close affinity with the sea and a strong marine motorsport heritage.
"Another important consideration in expanding the series is that the P1 vision for powerboat racing must be shared with a local investor who assists in funding the entry of the SuperStock series into the region. But more importantly, the investor receives all the revenue and benefit from hosting the series, so that all the revenue and benefit from a national series remains in the country," Durbin pointed out.
With the approval from UAE Marine Sports Federation, P1 is looking to host its first national event in 2013 which according to Durbin would encourage other countries in the region to have similar races.
"We have conducted a number of demonstration days for prospective racers, venues, press and sponsors in UAE.
The positive feedback that we have received almost overwhelmed us! Even though we know we have a great concept and a great boat, the obvious desire within the Middle East for a one-design racing series that attracts spectators due to its competitive and easy to view racing is extremely encouraging," he said.
Powerboat P1 has owned the rights to the Powerboat P1 World Championship since 2003. In late 2009, Powerboat P1 acquired the rights to the new P1 SuperStock Championship which is one of the most accessible and most affordable forms of motorsport today, and is racing in the UK and Ireland throughout 2010 and internationally from 2011.
"Racing in front of 250,000 spectators in Vigo at the P1 Spanish Grand Prix of the Sea proved that the sport, although sometimes considered elitist and for the few, can in fact draw significant audiences and become a true motorsport," Durbin explained.
"It was these experiences that encouraged P1 to build the foundation of the sport and take it back to national level racing to fuel the palpable desire within marine motorsport," he noted.
Powerboat P1 has so far held more than 75 national races over the course of three years. "The national level series of racing delivers all the excitement, glamour and power of the P1 World Championships at a much lower cost of participation and even greater connection for the audiences attending the events as the boats are smaller, and consequently can race closer to the shore line and on a smaller race course.
The national series champions will qualify for the P1 World Championships and create the first genuine motorboat World Championships," he said.
"The experience of P1's initial 85 World Championships gave us the confidence to set our sights on building the pinnacle racing format for powerboats first there was F1 in motorcars, then there was MotoGP in motorbikes, now there will be P1 in motorboats," he added.