Sunseeker Sales Group has taken steps to bring powerboat racing to new levels of professionalism by forming a strategic partnership with Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT). The move represents a first in the international powerboat racing arena. This collaboration between a prestigious British marine brand and Italian engine manufacturer marks a significant leap in the sport, emulating the type of alliances usually only seen in the Formula one sporting arena.
The partnership with FPT will provide a significant advantage to the Sunseeker Sales Group powerboat team, Team Sunseeker, in their attempt to secure the SuperSport Class title in the 2007 UIM Powerboat P1 World Championship. The boat, a Sunseeker Challenger which is a race version of the Sunseeker XS2000, will be equipped with twin 5.9 litre FPT NEF 400 turbo diesel engines, capable of a constant power of 480hp at 3000rpm.
Equipped with quality marine components to guarantee high performance, the engine features FPT’s latest light-weight engine construction technology in a compact package. It exhibits superb fuel efficiency and a power-to-weight ratio that forces the possibility of higher speeds.
The smooth power, together with the outstanding torque characteristics and low emissions, makes the engine an outstanding choice for professional powerboat racing.
The Sunseeker Challenger with its new engines will make its debut in Malta at the first race of the series from 4th to 6th May in the SuperSport Class. Throughout the Powerboat P1 Championships, which take place from May until October in a number of top European destinations, FPT will provide technical support and back-up to ensure Team Sunseeker have the best opportunity possible to claim the P1 title.
Managing director at Sunseeker Sales Group, Dominic Byrne, says: “Participation in one of the world’s top endurance championships is very important to us. P1 is the most professionally organised powerboat race series in the world, emulating Formula one, and provides us with a spectacular way to demonstrate the true quality of the Sunseeker brand. The significant refinements to the Sunseeker Challenger race boat will further enhance performance and provide our team with the best possible opportunity to compete for the top prestigious title.”
FPT Chief Executive Officer, Alfredo Altavilla, comments: “In line with Fiat Group strategy of selecting first-class partners for strengthening our alliance network world-wide, we are proud to have the chance of working with Sunseeker, one of the most important shipyards in the world. Fiat Powertrain Technologies wants to reinforce its presence in any application segment, including engines for the marine sector. Fiat Powertrain Technologies, relying upon a long tradition in powertrains for marine application, is the right solution also for the extreme need of performance and reliability of an excellent racing boat.”
Vice President of Sales & Marketing at FPT, Natale Rigano, comments: “We worked hard in the last six months with the Sunseeker team, in order to develop this agreement which is being announced today and which makes us very proud!. We are providing Sunseeker with our best in class engine for marine applications coming back in the world of marine racing, where FPT has an important tradition.”
Barry McGovern, commercial director of P1, says: “We became the promoter of the World Endurance Championship in 2002, renamed it P1 and immediately set about developing a sporting and business model that would provide the marine industry with a well organized, credible and sustainable platform from which to develop and promote its products worldwide. This announcement between one of the most respected and prestigious names in boat building and a global automotive engine manufacturer recognized for its innovation and powertrain technology, is the best possible endorsement of Powerboat P1. It also adds another dimension to our championship with the first Formula one style engine tie-up, something that we are sure will capture the interest of the marine and motor sports industries."