By Gregg Mansfield, H1 Unlimited
Pasco, Wash., April 30, 2012— Veteran Air National Guard Hydroplane Series driver Mark Evans and his brother, Mitch, can add another title to their résumés—team owners.
The Evans brothers announced Monday they have purchased the U57 Unlimited Hydroplane from Ted Porter of Precision Performance LLC of Decatur, Ind., along with the truck, trailer, engines, gearbox and propellers. They took possession of the race boat this weekend in their hometown of Lake Chelan, Wash.
"I just love the sport and I love driving this boat," said Mark Evans, who has 10 career race victories. "I was shocked when my brother (Mitch) wanted to be part of this. That sealed the deal for me."
The purchase price was not disclosed but Mark said the team will race under the Formula Boats banner for the foreseeable future. The team plans to run the entire United States circuit with the goal of qualifying for the season-ending Oryx Cup UIM World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The U57 hull is the same boat Mark campaigned for Ted Porter in 2011.
Mark is the primary driver with his brother, Mitch, serving as the crew chief. John Walcker of Chelan is acting as team manager. Crew members will include Tony Scharf of Wenatchee, Wash., Paul LaMarre and Bill Guckian of Detroit, Josh Culver from the Tri-Cities, Wash., and Dave Lemon and Bianca Bononcini from the Seattle area.
Mark Evans has driven numerous Unlimiteds in his long career and likes the hull, which is why he decided to acquire it. Porter announced in January he was putting his team's three boats up for sale.
"It's a good fit for me," Evans said of the hull. "I like the way it handles and I am confident we can get another 5 to 10 percent out of the performance and be a little more competitive."
"I didn't want to get too excited until the boat actually got here," he added. "But when I saw it coming up the driveway it was a real rush. Mitch and John and I are very excited about making the circuit with the 57 and the great team we have put together."
For more information on the Air National Guard Series, visit www.h1unlimited.com.