Seattle, USA - January 6, 2006 - The OMC V-6 racing engine will return to competition in 2006. Kingfisher Inc. of Seattle, Wash., has acquired rights to the 3.0-liter, electronically-fuel-injected engine that was developed jointly by OMC and Cees Vander Velden and raced on the UIM Formula 1 circuit for three years. Development of the engine ended with the bankruptcy of Outboard Marine Corporation in 2000.
“We have acquired all of the inventory, assets, tooling and manufacturing rights for what was the OMC Johnson V-6 engine produced in Holland,” said Greg Jacobsen, president of Kingfisher. “OMC contracted with Cees to develop a racing engine. The motor was developed in 1998 and 1999 and ran on the European Formula 1 circuit for three years. When OMC went into bankruptcy, the racing program in Europe ended.”
Jacobsen said he has recruited a team of experienced racing engineers and technicians to assist in preparing the OMC engine for competition.
“Our intention is to go through everything, perform extensive dyno and race boat testing and decide how to continue developing the Johnson V-6 race engine, center section and gear case for racing and other high-performance applications,” Jacobsen said. “Our intent is to eventually sell complete race engines, gear cases and center sections.
“Cees was close to making the engine successful in Europe, and European F1 motors have a little more horsepower than the domestic engines. We would like to build an engine that can compete on the U.S. Champ Boat Series and the international Formula One tours, and also build race gear cases and center sections for other applications. We also plan to field a race team with the Johnson engine in the Champ Boat Series in 2006.”
Jacobsen said Kingfisher will receive enough parts to build about 25 engines from the Netherlands. A number of the engines already are assembled as they were raced on the UIM circuit.
The OMC engine returned to UIM Formula 1 competition in 2000 after a 20-year absence and soon began to show promise. In June, Jonathan Jones used OMC power to qualify third at the Grand Prix of France and the Grand Prix of Latvia. In August an OMC engine propelled Phillipe Dessertenne to victory as Jones finished fourth in the Grand Prix of Bulgaria, which was run as an exhibition race.
Jones ended the 2000 season by qualifying second at both November races in the United Arab Emirates. Factory support of the engine ended on December 22, 2000. The engine was raced with decreasing frequency over the following two years. Sami Selio scored the engine’s best finishes during those seasons, second places at Malaysia in 2001 and Portugal in 2002.
Kingfisher also has acquired some parts and tooling for the OMC V-8 racing engine and all parts, patterns, tooling and rights to the three-cylinder OMC Formula 3 race engines which had been built and distributed by Vander Velden since the late 1980s. Those engines and associated gear cases and center sections will be evaluated for production. However, the priority will be the Johnson V-6 race engine.