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Hydroplane UL-11 Power Punch Race Team/94Five ROXY/K&N Wins at Firebird

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Rookie driver Kevin Eacret was all smiles after taking in the UL-11 into victory lane for the ULHRA season opener
Rookie driver Kevin Eacret was all smiles after taking in the UL-11 into victory lane for the ULHRA season opener
Hydroplanes are enormously high-powered watercrafts used specifically for racing. Although they use the water for propulsion and steering much like other boats, hydroplanes "plane" on top of the water, where there's reduced resistance, reaching speeds in well in excess of 130 mph during races. Heavy gusting crosswinds are therefore a big negative, not only for hydroplane racers, but also for the crane operators who can't lift the heavy boats in and out of the water in high winds.
The UL-11 races next in Chamberlain-Oacoma, South Dakota, June 19 and 20
The UL-11 races next in Chamberlain-Oacoma, South Dakota, June 19 and 20


That is precisely why the 2010 Unlimited Light Hydroplane Racing Association (ULHRA) season opener at Firebird International Raceway, in Chandler, Arizona ended without running a final heat? The ULHRA is hosting seven races this year making them the fastest growing hydroplane racing organization in North America.

Three boats qualified for the F1 Final on the three boat wide Firebird course, but due to the aforementioned winds, the running of the final was wisely canceled. Consequently, based on points, rookie driver Kevin Eacret in the UL-11, Miss Executif Racing entry of the Power Punch Performance Lubricants-ROXY Radio 94.5-K&N Filters, Unlimited Light Hydroplane, was declared winner. This is the third consecutive win for the team, but the first with their original hull. Things tend to go bad very quickly when you're racing inches above the water at triple digit speeds, and last year their hull was nearly destroyed after shearing off a propeller blade.
Eacret also pulled off an evasive maneuver and avoided a collision, but broke one of his tails in the process, which resulted in the cowling flying off going into turn two
Eacret also pulled off an evasive maneuver and avoided a collision, but broke one of his tails in the process, which resulted in the cowling flying off going into turn two


"After a nearly disastrous incident that left our hydroplane sinking in the Flathead River in Polson, the team has rebuilt the hull this winter, and we came to Firebird Raceway and won the first event of the season, we couldn't be more thrilled," remarked team owner Darren Bartels. When Bartels isn't near water he's up in the air, as a pilot for a major airline. Clearly the man has a need for speed.

"This wasn't exactly how we would have liked to get our first win in our hull," continued Bartels. "Fact of the matter though, we did qualify for the F1 final, which would have had us running against Muncey and Smets. Both those boats were looking great for the weekend and it could have been a fun final."

Ms. Perkins, the third boat making it to the final, had in fact no chance to win the race at that point because she was running in the F2.

"The way this boat is flying now is due in part to the added weight from the repairs we did to the transom over the winter, coupled with the redesigned strut and shaft system, and the propeller being further aft, and some increased horsepower, I think we might now have a contender here. Man the 11 was going fast; our data shows us reaching 146 mph at one point in a heat."

Bartels' boat is powered by a GM 468 cubic inch, blown, alcohol injected engine that puts out nearly 1000 horsepower.

As for the team's plan for the season Bartels says, "We just came off a strong appearance, winning in Phoenix, and of course, we want to continue winning. We spent a lot of hours this past off season rebuilding the boat and without the support from companies like K&N this wouldn't be possible. We believe in K&N filters and are thrilled with them choosing us to represent them." The team currently uses K&N oil filters and several breather filters.

The UL-11 races next in Chamberlain-Oacoma, South Dakota, June 19 and 20.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.