The world-famous Miss Geico raceboat caught fire and was turned into a smoldering carcass during testing at the Superboat International (SBI) Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix in Lido Beach, FL, on Saturday.
Its crew members, driver Marc Granet and throttleman Scott Begovich, escaped injury.
Spectators said the boat burst into flames at about 5:30 local time while preparing for Sunday's race, about 250 yards off Lido Beach. After Begovich attempted to control the fire with an extinguisher, the remains of the boat were towed to the 10th Street boat ramp in Sarasota. According to the race team, Geico is still planning to participate in Sunday's race with a different boat.
Superboat Grand Prix spokesman Roderick Cox said that initial indications indicated that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, but an official investigation will determine its exact cause. He said the boat was virtually destroyed in the fire.