For Ellstrom Racing's Unlimited Hydroplane, it's the upside down time of year. Mike Hanson and crew recently added a coat of fresh paint to the bottom. The boat will be right side up again soon with work progressing on the installation of hardware and systems in preparation for the season opener in Madison, Indiana July 1-3. Details of the team's plans for the 2016 season will be announced soon.
In the team's Offroad Racing shop in Woodway, North of Seattle, a second car is under construction. The team's second car will be built on the longer version of the Polaris RZR 1000 which Sven Ellstrom and navigator Matt Rutz drove in the "King of the Hammers" event In the Johnson Valley of California in February.
The bigger car will make its debut in the "Best of the Desert" series at the General Tire "Vegas to Reno" race August 17-20. The event is billed as the "Longest off-road race in the United States." The new car's longer wheel base and turbocharged engine will make it better suited for the higher speeds and smoother race course that will be found at the August event.
Team owner Erick Ellstrom is also very busy in his day job - running 5 Axis Industries in a building one block from the team's boat shop in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.
A space that originally housed the team's race boat and transporter as well as the company's original milling machine has been completely taken over with the addition of more and bigger machines which are kept busy making parts and pieces for the aircraft and aerospace industries.
In a small room behind the company's office and conference room a fraction of the dozens of trophies the team has won over the years are on display. Many more are scattered over several other locations.