Powerboat racing to take over Lake Wausau this weekend

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Eric Weinczak is a racer at heart. It’s his passion and love for the sport of powerboat racing that has the Michigan native in Wisconsin this weekend, for round 10 of the North American Powerboat National Championship Series, which will hit the waters of Lake Wausau at Bluegill Bay Park this weekend.

Wisconsin Grand Prix poster. Sept. 20, 2019. (WSAW photo)

“I’ve been racing for four years, but this is my second year in this class,” said Weinczak, who is competing in the Pro Tunnel Two Series this season. “In our class, we’ll do about 70 miles per hour. In the bigger class, they’ll be doing about a hundred miles per hour.”

The “bigger class” Weinczak is referring to is the Pro Tunnel One Series, which is mainly equipped with Mercury 2.0 liter V6 engines with 200 horsepower, having drivers average 5Gs as they take turns at full throttle. It’s these speeds, the thrill; that keeps Weinczak in the cockpit.

“Most of the racing guys, we love the nerves,” added Weinczak. “That’s part of it. That’s what we love.”

This is the third year that the series is racing at Blue Gill Bay Park in Wausau and while it’s the last year on the contract, event organizer Scott Liegl says negotiations are already underway to keep powerboat racing in Wausau for years to come.

“We’re already looking to see what we’re going to do for coming years,” said Liegl. “We’re excited to have them. We have the North American championship that’s at stake; we’re excited for it.”

Liegl is encouraging fans to come out and check out the action on the water, which will feature 35 boats in the Pro Tunnel One and Two series, as well as the Pro Sport Hydro-Cross Jet Skis. Admission is free.

“Racing will start at noon, and we will go until we are done on Saturday, most of that’s going to be qualifying,” said Liegl. “Sunday, we’re going to do the same thing, and those are going to be the finals.”

Spectators planning to attend the race are encouraged to use Parrot Lane, which will take them to a designated parking area. NewsChannel 7 is a proud sponsor of the Wisconsin Grand Prix.