Here are the profiles of the Grand Prix West teams who plan on attending Valleyfield. In addition to that a great album of the Soap Lake Ragatta.
A collaboration of Marty Brault
GP 15 – Hopp Racing
When you say the name Hopp you’re talking family. The father\son team has had much success since 1995 both in Unlimited Lights and Grand Prix. For 2 years now, son Greg is the full time driver of Bob Schellhase’s GP 12, leaving the driving duties of the GP 15 to father Jerry.
Jerry is a veteran Unlimited driver who has driven such boats as the Miss Madison, Taco Time, United Furniture Warehouse and Tony Roma’s. He is the self-proclaimed fastest grandpa on water. At 67, he is without a doubt the elder of the GPW group but make no mistakes he is a force to be reckoned with.
The GP 15 is the old THE ALAMO driven at the time by Bo Schide. Between 1997 and 1999, this boat won 12 out of 17 races before it was sold to the Hopp family. Right out of the gate, the Hopps won their first race with it on Lake Sammamish just outside Seattle.
Hopp played it safe in Soap Lake, not wanting to push the engine too much considering that they are running the 2013 season with only one engine: The Lone Ranger!
They are a team to watch with grandpa Jerry driving.
GP 55 – Cabo Marine
Owned by Scott and Susie Pierce of Woodinville Washington, the GP 55 is a boat that is continually getting better year over year. This team was formed in 2010 is always a threat.
Scott Pierce isn’t exactly a new comer to hydroplane racing. Just like Jerry Hopp, he is a veteran of the Unlimited circuit winning the rookie of the year honors in 1981 with the U-8. Through the years he has also driven such boats as the Gilmore Special, Team Velocity, Mr. Pringles and the famous Miss Budweiser. Who will drive in Valleyfield? Scotty or Kevin Eacret? Most likely Eacret will do the driving.
Pierce tells me that the GP 55 was originally a 21 foot Ron Jones Sr. design that was completely redone by his team. They increased the length of the boat to 24 feet and added a capsule. It is currently the only GPW boat with a rear wing. Pierce believes that having a rear wings adds much stability to the boat. It is built in carbon fiber.
With Eacret doing the driving duties in Soap Lake this team looked good with a few second places and should do well in Valleyfield.
GP 12 – Schellhase Racing
This boat is driven by veteran Greg Hopp and is always amongst the favorites on any given weekend. Hopp is the son of Jerry Hopp owner/driver of the GP 15. He has a lot of experience not only driving Grand Prix and Unlimited Light hydros but he also drives full time on the Unlimited circuit.
This is an excellent boat, with excellent motors and a high caliber team with a fearless driver who loves to go fast.