LAPORTE, IND. - Herd Racing's Kingdom Energy Formula 1 tunnel boat team will kick off the 2015 USF1 racing season this weekend at the third annual Maple City Grand Prix in LaPorte, Indiana.
The team will load up and head toward Northern Indiana's Stone Lake late Wednesday evening, with plans to arrive at the race site Thursday morning. Check-in, inspections and last-minute work on the boat will occupy Thursday's schedule before the official event starts Friday morning.
Friday's schedule is full of testing, racing and a city-wide block party and parade on Friday evening in downtown LaPorte for all of the teams and boats. Saturday will feature qualifying races in preparation for Sunday afternoon's Maple City Grand Prix championship race.
"We have a lot left to do to finish getting everything ready to race so Thursday is a very important day for us," said Herd Racing F-1 Pilot Dana Tomes. "We have been working hard all off-season, but once we get all of the loose ends tied up Thursday and Friday we will feel much better. The pressure will sort of be off once we start racing on Friday."
Herd Racing's F-1 boat will be piloted in 2015 by Tomes, the team's pilot since 2010. The F-1 team crew chief for 2015 will be veteran Formula 3 race pilot Dan Bunting. Crew members will change at each race based on availability of personnel throughout the season.
"We have some veteran people helping us throughout the year. I feel real good about our personnel and equipment this year. I feel like we should have a good year if we have a little luck on our side," Tomes said.
After this coming weekend's opener at LaPorte, the Herd Racing F-1 team has three weeks off before a demanding three-race slate takes the team to Bay City, Michigan; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada three straight weeks in late June and early July. Then after a weekend off the team's Formula 2 team will kick off it's season at Huntington, West Virginia, in late July before both F-1 and F-2 teams compete in August.
"Once we get going it is going to be a very hectic and fast-paced schedule," Tomes said. "Keeping our boat in one piece will be our goal all year. One mishap and we could be out for several weeks so our ability to keep collecting points each week depends on keeping the boat under us and in good condition. The big picture is more important than taking a risk that isn't a sure thing."
For updates on Herd Racing news and photos from the Maple City Grand Prix you can click on the social media feeds at www.herdracing.com.