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The Risky Business Pro Gas Jet Drag Boat Team



Winner of the 2000 IHBA Pro Competition Eliminator High Points Championship
The 2000 IHBA Pro Competition Eliminator Champion



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Courtesy of Jim Perry Photography


International Hot Boat Association (IHBA) Records

  • IHBA Division 1 Pro Gas Jet E.T. record holder at 7.81 seconds

  • IHBA Division 1 Pro Gas Jet MPH record holder at 133.08 mph

  • IHBA Division 2 Pro Gas Jet MPH record holder at 133.08 mph

National Jet Boat Association (NJBA) Records

  • NJBA Pro Gas Jet E.T. record holder at 7.72 seconds

  • NJBA Pro Gas Jet MPH record holder at 133.67 mph

1. 1999 Race Season                   2. 2000 Race Season

This site is dedicated to our Pro Gas Jet drag boat program, which started in the spring of 1999. In the 1998 season we won the NJBA high points championship for the 11 second bracket using my 1986 Eliminator Daytona ski boat with a 10-1 compression 498" Chevrolet motor in it. It ran consistent low 11 second quarter mile ET's at around 95 MPH. We sometimes ran it in the Unblown Fuel Jet class for fun, so we could turn on the NOS bottle. In that class we ran a best of 9.47 ET and 115 MPH.

1999 Race Season

In 1999 we stepped up to the Pro Gas Jet class with a new lightweight carbon fiber 19' Eliminator Daytona hull. I bought Tony Scarlotta's record setting Pro Gas Flat 500" Chevrolet/Pontiac motor and put it in this new boat. We set a new IHBA MPH (130) and ET (8.34) records at the Nitro Nationals in Red Bluff, CA. We are running in the Pro Comp Eliminator class in the IHBA. We finished 3rd in the nation in the points standings in the 1999 season. In PCE class, different types and classes of boats race each other on a handicapped starting system. In other words, a slower class of boat will get a head start on a faster type of boat. The national record for the type of boat you are running is used as your index. In order to be competitive, you need to be able to run near or on the national record.

We also competed in NJBA (National Jet Boat Association) races held at Lake Ming in Bakersfield, CA during the 1999 season. The NJBA didn't have any other Pro Gas Jet's competing in the 1999 season so we stepped up to the Unblown Fuel Jet class where we raced other jet boats that can run motors as big as 670" on alcohol, nitromethane or nitrous oxide. We are running a 500" motor on race gas only (in order to be legal for the Pro Gas Jet class). But we were still competitive; finishing in 3rd place in the Unblown Fuel Jet class points standings for the 1999 season.
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2000 Race Season

For the 2000 race season, we installed a new Steve Schmidt 500" Olds/DRCE Pro Stock motor. This new motor now makes over 1250 horsepower and our 500" Pontiac motor is now for sale. We also installed a new Racepak on board data acquisition system last winter and now that Jim Lee, Data Acquisition Geek (DAG) has added additional features to the program, the information it gives us is remarkable. We had a great 2000 race season and will be back again for the 2001 season (at least for IHBA events). We are seeking additional sponsorship so that we can also compete in the NJBA events as well. The 2000 drag boat racing season is over and we have a couple of months to regroup and get ready for next year. In 2000, we set new Pro Gas Jet ET and MPH records in the NJBA as well as the IHBA. We won the points championship battle in the IHBA PCE class and came in runner up in point's chase in the NJBA Unblown Fuel Jet class. We ran a best E.T. of 7.73 at the NJBA season opener in March 2000 and made several 133 mph plus runs over the season. We think we have the potential to run in the mid 7 second range at around 135 mph once we get the hardware set up dialed in. Our team currently holds both the E.T. AND MPH records in the IHBA in Division 1 and Division 2. We also hold the E.T. AND MPH record for Pro Gas Jet in the NJBA. It is going to be hard to top that for next season but we will give it a try.

Special thanks go out to the following people, for without them I would not have been able put this program together.

Jeff Bennett, of Jeff Bennett Engineering, redesigned the bottom and installed the new MPD intake. In addition, Jeff is a great consultant and the best data analytical man in the business. Jeff also makes our hardware setup decisions.

Jack McClure, owner of Marine Performance Designs in Costa Mesa, CA., fabricated the new MPD intake; race prepped the new impeller, and fabricated all of the related jet pump hardware for the 2000 race season.

Dave Ebbert, owner of DNE Motorsports Development, rebuilt the Schmidt power plant during mid season with new rods, valves and springs and keeps it operating at maximum performance. Dave will also refreshen it again for the beginning of the 2001 season.

Bob Prigmore assists Dave with motor maintenance and set up between rounds, as well as assisting Jim Lee with hardware changes. Bob is also responsible for getting the boat to the ramp, in the water, and out again after each run. Bob fills in for Dave at any race that Dave is unable to attend.

Jim Lee video's each run and then downloads the data from the on board data acquisition system after each run. He also is the primary person responsible for taking hardware set up measurements and changing the hardware settings when required. 

Mike Ciraolo (alias MikeC) is the founding father of the web site and bulletin board www.realjetboats.com. Without this valuable resource I would not have been able to link up with most of the full time and part time members of the race boat team. In addition, Mike baby sat "The Biz" at his home in Phoenix last fall in between the first rained out IHBA World Finals race and the rescheduled race two weeks later. This saved me a lot of work and time, in not having to tow the boat back to the bay area between these two races.

Greg Shoemaker, founder of GS Marine located in Corona, CA saved the day when he allowed us to use his facility to flip the boat over so Jeff could reshape the keel angle. Greg has a ton of seat time in Eliminator Daytona race boats and was kind enough also to share some driving thoughts with me that resulted in improved reaction times. Greg is now building my new high performance lake boat that will replace the old 19' Daytona. He should have it completed this spring.

Aijaz Balkhi at IT Solutions & Services Network [ ITSSN ]is our team Webmaster and developer of this web site. He has worked very late nights and almost every weekend in order to get this website up and running in a very short order. Thank you, Aijaz.

Jim Hall, Walter & Mary Jones, Chad Carlson, Shayne Carlson, Kathleen Hubbard and Russ Zellmer help me with getting the boat in and out of the water, as well as helping out in the pit giving a hand wherever needed. Thank you to all of the above crewmembers. 

I hope to see you at some or all of the races. Keith Zellmer


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Last Updated: February 06, 2008