2018 NGK F1 Powerboat Championship 1st Race at the Port Neches, Texas, Riverfest

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The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship Series is kicking off the 2018 racing season by bringing dozens of lightning-fast powerboats to Southeast Texas on May 4th through 6th. The “Thunder on the Neches” powerboat race will be held on the Neches River at the Port Neches City Park as part of RiverFest, a five-day festival that promises something for every member of the family, including live music, food, games, shopping, a car and motorcycle show, and a spectacular fireworks display.

The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship Series is kicking off the 2018 racing season

"This race is usually the first big event race we have [and] we use it like a measuring stick…We're off all winter and we put our work in, but we don't really know where everyone else is at, or what they've done." Driver RJ West

With the retirement of the 2017 NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Champion #10 Terry Rinker, there is a big opportunity for racers to cinch the podium’s top spot. Among them are #3 Dustin Terry and Texas native, #4 Wesley Cheatham, who each placed second and third at Port Neches last year.

In addition to Formula 1 racing, fans will see racing action from Formula Lights, the wave crashing Tri-Hulls and the daring J Hydroplanes, a class designed for junior drivers. The 2017 NGK Spark Plugs Formula Lights Champion #6 Mark Schmerbauch, is expected to return and defend his place on the podium against last year’s Port Neches runner-up, #93 RJ West. In Tri-Hulls, Port Neches’ own #00 Hunter Barber, will also be returning to defend his Port Neches championship title.

Thunder on the Neches 2018 will see the introduction of the series’ new timing sessions. This new method will determine the starting positions for the weekend’s first qualifying heats by dividing racers into timing groups of 4-7 boats, running for approximately 8 minutes, with lap times automatically recorded. When all groups have completed their timing sessions, the boats with the shortest times will be granted the most advantageous starting position in the first heat.

The first race of the season is extremely important to the racers, as Driver RJ West explained in The Beaumont Enterprise, "This race is usually the first big event we have [so] we use it like a measuring stick…We're off all winter and we put our work in, but we don't really know where everyone else is at, or what they've done."

Greenlight TV will film the NGK Spark Plugs F1 racing action all season, producing six 30-minute episodes for air on the CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports Network will air the final races on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 7:00 and 10:00 PM ET. Full coverage of the races will also stream live from the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Facebook page.

For more information about the NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship Series, please visit ngkf1.com

NGK Spark Plugs – The World Leader in Spark Plug and Oxygen Sensor Technology Since 1936, NGK Spark Plugs has been the world leader in technology, innovation, and world-class quality in the design of spark plugs and oxygen sensors. Today, NGK manufactures NGK Spark Plugs and NTK Oxygen Sensors for virtually every automotive manufacturer in the world.

NGK has built a reputation for quality and reliability, and a commitment to excellence continues to be the driving force behind the company’s advanced research and development programs. With state-of-the-art manufacturing, inventory, and distribution facilities, NGK provides customers with world-class products and services.

In addition to serving OE automotive and aftermarket customers, NGK also produces spark plugs for motorcycle, power sports, marine and small engine manufacturers. NGK also offers complementary product lines including resistor caps, spark plug wires, and high-performance cables.

In North America, NGK is headquartered in Wixom, MI and maintains manufacturing, inventory, and distribution facilities in Irvine, CA, Sissonville, WV, and Chicago, IL.

For more information about NGK Spark Plugs, (U.S.A), Inc., please visit our website http://www.ngksparkplugs.com.

Our Mission: "We improve life through the environmentally responsible manufacture and precise application of advanced ceramic technologies for all of North America.  Focused on innovation and teamwork, we contribute to local and global economic growth by matching our products to our customers' visions each day, exceeding their expectations in quality, value, service and performance."

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