|Porter to Leave Unlimited Series|
H1 Unlimited Media Release
Pasco, Wash., January 5, 2012— After a very successful six-year run on the Air National Guard Hydroplane Series, the Ted Porter family announced Thursday that it is leaving the sport and selling the team’s boats and equipment.
The team, based in Decatur, Ind., campaigned three boats on the 2011 tour and was coming off its best race of the season in Doha, Qatar. That’s where owner Ted Porter saw Valken.com, Graham Trucking and Formulaboats.com finish first, second and fourth, respectively.
“It is with heavy heart and fond memories I announce that the Porter Family is exiting the sport to pursue other interests,” Porter said in a press release. “It is our choice to leave the sport in healthy times. We entered the sport to help make it stronger. Now that the sport has the staying power to last for generations, we feel we can move on.”
H1 Unlimited Chairman Sam Cole said the Porter family was a major part in helping rebuild the sport, especially after legendary owner Bernie Little passed away and Budweiser left the series.
“This is very sad news. Ted and his family have been a major, very positive part of our sport on and off the racecourse and we will miss them personally and professionally,” Cole said. “I want to personally thank Ted for all he has contributed to the growth of the sport and wish him and the Porter family all the best in their future endeavors.”
During the Porter’s tenure, they won two world championships, a national championship and several races in addition to numerous heats. Porter is credited with developing drivers and developed a driver training program to expand the number of Unlimited hydroplane drivers.
The Porter family got into the sport in 2005 with Formula Boats sponsoring a boat and the team finished in the Top 5 of the points standings.
The following year, the Porters and its Precision Performance Engineering LLC bought two hulls and the team had a remarkable rookie season, winning the 2006 National High Points Championship behind the driving of Mike Allen.
In 2010, the team started campaigning three boats on the Air National Guard Hydroplane Series. Although all three teams were under one umbrella and shared many resources, each team operated independently with its own driver and crew chief.
“We have successfully done what many said couldn’t be done, competitively run a three-boat team,” Porter said. “Actually, several said a two boat national team couldn’t be done successfully. When we mastered two national boats we moved on to three national boats.”
This past season was the most successful for the Porter team. Driver Jeff Bernard finished second in the National High Points Championship and unknown rookie driver Scott Liddycoat won his first race in the Unlimited hydroplane ranks and took third in the point standings.
“I want to begin by thanking Ted (Porter), the U5 crew and all the guys at PPE for the past six years,” Bernard said. “I will leave the team with some great friendships and great memories.”
Porter also created a New Driver Development Program and driver Bianca Bononcini was the first to go through the mentoring program. Bononcini was looking to become the only qualified female driver on the tour.
Porter said he hopes to sell the equipment as race-ready sets rather than individual parts. The equipment includes seven Unlimited hydroplane hulls, four races trucks, eight T55 turbine engines, six gear boxes and more than 40 propellers.
“These boats were built to win and they were built to last,” Porter said. “Their timeless/winning design continues to be built into the newest boats out there. Hopefully new future owners can run these awesome winning hulls well into the future.”