Lake Race brings new events, NGK F1 Series

Compiled by Charis Patires
Lake Race boat.

The fastest and most powerful boats in the world are coming to Lake of the Ozarks to compete during Lake Race June 3-5. Sponsored by Offshore Powerboat Association, the 7th annul race starts by Bagnell Dam and extends to about the 4-mile marker by water.

“We look forward to having Lake Race return to its ‘home port’ on the Bagnell Dam Strip and offer a better vantage point for fans to watch the event live, from both expanded on water, dock and on land locations,” Tom Abbett, President of the Lake Race Board of Directors, said.

One of the best vantage points to view the races, Abbett says, is Bagnell Dam where organizers are putting bleachers and shade tents up on the Dam for the first time ever to enhance spectator viewing. Bagnell Dam will be closed to thru traffic from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday June 5.

“We have added a lot of great socials and a Land or Lake Poker Run. We also are expecting the Street Party to be an amazing event as well as the races with the new Neon Taco being our host location,” Lake Race Executive Director Christy Janssen said. “We have a new class of boats brought in by Tim Seebold (NGK F1 boats). We are also excited about our Lake Race clothing line. We have expanded it and are offering some really nice men’s and women’s shirts and hats.”

Upcoming events include a Lake Race pre-party will be held at Lazy Gators June 2 from 5-7 p.m. A Lake Race Meet and Greet will be held at Camden on the Lake June 3 from 5-7 p.m. The Lake Race Street Party will be held June 4 from 4-10 p.m. on the Bagnell Dam Strip. The Clay Clear Band will play live music from 8-11 p.m. at Best Dam Slice. There will be a break at 9:15 p.m. for a fireworks display hosted by Lake Race and Neon Taco. Fireworks will be shot from a barge in front of the Neon Taco/Celebration Cruises docks.

Racing day is on June 5 starting at 10:30 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held at H. Toad’s at 6 p.m.

Lake Race proceeds benefit Kids’ Harbor, Citizens Against Domestic Violence and the Boy Scouts.

The race course for Lake Race.

NEW THIS YEAR

The NGK Spark Plugs Formula One Powerboat Championship Series is bringing its world class powerboat racing action to Lake of the Ozarks for the first time in history. Building off the momentum of its first two events in Port Neches, Texas, the NGK F1 Series comes to Lake of the Ozarks for the 3rd round of the 2021 season. The adrenaline pumping “Formula 1 Lake Race” running as a companion event to the Offshore Powerboat Association’s Lake Race at Bagnell Dam.

Lake of the Ozarks, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2021, is also the hometown of NGK F1 Series Manager, Tim Seebold. He is excited to bring high octane outboard racing to his hometown, which fulfills a dream he has long envisioned.

Long time Formula 1 racing fans will remember that the state of Missouri was once a stronghold for high stakes tunnel boat racing, as the state hosted the St. Louis Grand Prix dating back nearly 50 years. Originally held at George Winter Park in Fenton from 1972 to 1999, the race moved to Creve Coeur Lake Park starting in 2000. The 37th and last St. Louis Grand Prix race was held in 2008.

Race fans will be transfixed with three days full of fun. Starting Thursday, June 3rd, the public is invited to meet the racers at the Racer’s Reception from 5-7 p.m. on Camden on the Lake Boardwalk. At noon on Friday June 4, the race pits will start their set-up followed by a Lake Race Street Party open to the public at Bagnell Dam Strip from 4-10 p.m. The big Saturday race day action, which includes the different boat racing disciplines; Formula 1, Tri Hull and Offshore, will start with testing at 9 a.m. and the full-throttle, deck to deck racing action from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of the racing action from Saturday will be broadcast via Live Stream from the NGK F1 website www.ngkf1.com and the NGKF1 Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NGKF1PowerboatChampionship. Utilizing its revolutionary Live Timing system, which allows fans to watch the rapid-paced race positioning in real time while watching the Live Stream. Additional racing action viewing can be found on the American Broadcast Affiliates airing the show on live national television, where an estimated 40+ million viewers will have the chance to watch the event on broadcast and cable television.

NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Championship Series Manager, Tim Seebold, expressed his gratitude for the return of F1 racing to Missouri, by saying, “Since the inception of the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship in 2017 we have wanted to bring F1 Powerboat racing back to Missouri. The outboard racing tradition that began 49 years ago (1972) with the Concord Village Lions Club producing the first St. Louis Grand Prix at George Winter park will once again thrill racing fans as the F1 boats light up the waters of my hometown at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. It is going to be a special event for powerboat racing fans to see the impressive high horsepower offshore boats, the agile F1 boats along with the crowd favorite Tri Hull division all on the water in the same day. Thanks to Tom Abbett of Lake Race and OPA’s “Smitty” Smith for the shared infrastructure that has made this all possible. We are fortunate and extend our appreciation to Shady Gators, Backwater Jacks, Dog Days, ProServ Business Systems, and Ozark Touchless Covers for believing in our vision of bringing these powerboat disciplines together.”

OPA’s “Smitty” Smith agreed. “This is great news for the racing community. The NGK Spark Plug F1 series will be joining OPA Racing for the June 3,4,5 Lake Race at Lake of the Ozarks. We have learned through our partnership with P1 Powerboat how powerful these partnerships can be. I have always wanted to watch the F1 boats race, but never had the opportunity to attend one of their events. Thanks to Tim Seebold for reaching out to us. This is going to be a big boost for us all.” For more information about OPA, visit  www.oparacing.org.

“The Lake Race Board is extremely excited with the addition of the NGK F1 Powerboat Series to the 2021 Lake Race event.  We have been discussing this for a few months, and once Tim Seebold and I met at the racecourse site by the Dam, we knew we had to figure out a way to make it happen. This addition of different classes will certainly add to the non-stop, on-track racing action and I cannot wait to see the dead start for the F1 boats from the docks; one of the coolest starts in all of racing!  This addition will be a “must see” for boating enthusiasts and race fans of all ages,” said Tom Abbett, President of the Lake Race Board of Directors. For more information on Lake Race, visit https://lakerace.com.

Get more information on the exciting NGK Spark Plugs Formula One Powerboat Championship by visiting www.ngkf1.com, or follow NGK F1 Powerboat Championship on Facebook.