American Ethanol Wins Fifth Straight Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout

The 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran broke 200 mph again.
American Ethanol running over 200 mph
A 201-mph run earned American Ethanol “Top Gun” honors at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Pete Boden

The 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran American Ethanol took a fifth straight Top Gun title on August 25 at the 31st annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Sunrise Beach, Mo. Driver Tony Battiato and throttleman John Cosker posted a 201-mph run early on Sunday for the boat owner Don Onken. The Onken Racing team is sponsored by American Ethanol, Big Thunder Marine and Vortech Superchargers. An attempt by American Ethanol to exceed its 201-mph top speed posted in the morning ended in dramatic fashion on Sunday afternoon as the boat, which is powered by four engines, lost a propeller blade and the ensuing vibration caused a hatch to fly off of the boat. The team fell short of the 204-mph top speed the boat ran in 2017 and 2018.

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“I was hoping for something closer to 210 mph this year, but we’ll take it considering everything we encountered this weekend and leading up to it,” Onken told Speed on the Water. “We found the propeller blade that broke. It was stuck in the boat—we plan on giving it to the Shootout for next year’s auction.”

Fountain Lightning 42 running in excess of 140 mph
A re-powered BAR Marine Group Fountain Lightning 42 carried driver Ben Robertson to a top speed of 143 mph, fastest V-bottom at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Pete Boden

The next-closest competitor was the 173-mph Performance Boat Center 38-foot Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran owned by Michigan’s Ron Szolack, who drove the boat alongside throttleman Myrick Coil.

The fastest V-bottom run was posted by Ben Robertson of BAR Marine Group in South Carolina at 143 mph in a Fountain Powerboats 42 Lightning recently re-powered with a pair of 1,550-hp Mercury Racing engines.