During the past 10 years, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout fans have come to expect at least one 200-plus-mph performance. American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran driven by Tony Battiato and throttled by company owner John Cosker, had gone seven for seven with such performances since 2014-the same year the Spirit of Qatar Mystic cat reached an untouchable 244 mph on the then mile-long course at the annual Central Missouri event.
But it wasn't to be this year. On Saturday, Battiato and Cosker led off with a slow-pokey, at least for them, 175-mph run on the three-quarter-mile course. The longtime cockpit duo followed that up with 180- and 184-mph passes before the course closed for the day, and vowed to return on Sunday.
And return they did with a top speed on their first pass of 190 mph. That run cost them a blower belt on one of their four piston engines that combine to a total output of 12,000-plus hp, but they replaced the belt and headed back out. About an hour before the course closed, Cosker and Battiato ran the 51-footer to 194 mph, enough for overall Top Gun honors but still shy of the 200-mph club of which they are charter members.
"We were working with a sick motor all weekend but we made the best of it," Cosker said. "I am happy for Don (Onken, the boat's owner)-it's American Ethanol's seventh overall Top Gun win in a row."