UIM World F2 Powerboat Championship 2012 was hosted by Powerboat GP at the National Water Sports Centre over the weekend of 15th and 16th September. 14 mighty F2 catamarans were joined at the final round of their 2012 World Championships by 15 British racers from the GT15 & GT30 Powerboat Circuit as they battled for the 2012 Powerboat GP British Masters title.
Competitors from Great Britain, Latvia, Sweden, Austria, Norway and Germany made the journey to compete for vital championship points.
Competitors in each of the three classes would face qualifying, Speed Trials, and Match racing before heading into the weekends Grand Prix racing.
Powerboat GP GT15 Nottingham Grand Prix - In awe of the World Class racers amongst them Britain’s Junior Racers took to the different event format like ducks to water, seeking inspiration from their peers and heroes of the World’s powerboat racers they battled it out for the Nottingham GT15 Speed Record.
A mere 4km/h separated the top four boats but it was the girls that triumphed with Jess Beaumont (13, Milton Keynes) setting the top speed of the day at 63km/h and Charlotte Newton (14, Warrington) securing second matching Jess’s speed but Jess securing the top spot setting it first. World Speed GT15 Record holder Ben Jelf was forced to settle for third at 61km/h.
Following the Speed Record run the GT15 fleet lined up for match racing. The youngsters made their way through the fleet to the final that saw Peters & May Racing’s Ben Jelf (12, Maidstone) face TopCat Racing’s Charlotte Newton.
Making up for disappointment in the speed record runs Ben took the final win over Charlotte with Tiegen Goodfellow(10, Burntwood) securing the Bronze medal over Rookie racer and JPL Racing team mate Lucy Brewer (12, Lincoln).
So it was down to the Powerboat GP Nottingham British Masters Grand Prix. The nine GT15 racers would each compete in 4fourheats with the best of three to count.
Jelf was back on form and secured four straight heat wins to secure the Powerboat GP GT15 Nottingham Grand Prix Title. Charlotte Newton continued recent promising form to secure four out of four second places and to secure her place on the silver podium spot. Thomas Mantripp Secured the Bronze Medal spot taking three third places and a fourth.
Powerboat GP GT30 Nottingham Grand Prix - In the GT30 Speed Record 6km/h separated Britain’s closest championship fleet. With former F4 World Champion Mark Williams securing the top spot with a speed of 84km/h. JPL Racing’s Kevin Hill secured second place with 82km/h and Natalie Craddock took the third podium place just squeezing out World Speed Record Ben Morse into fourth.
The GT30 Match Racing went down to the two Powerboat GP RYA Championship joint leaders Ben Morse and Kevin Hill going head to head on the course in what would be a nailing biting race. Kevin Hill secured the win with Ben settling in second and David James securing bronze.
Heading into the Grand Prix races the fleet would also complete in four heats with the best three results to count. JPL Racing’s Kevin Hill powered out of the blocks, to secure the first three heat wins and with it the Powerboat GP GT30 Nottingham Grand Prix Gold medal. Mick Pillow of TopCat Racing secured three second places and a sixth to secure the silver medal. Whilst JPL Racing’s Ben Morse secured a win in the final heat, making up with a non finish in the second to secure the bronze medal.
Commenting on the his win in the GT15 Class Ben Jelf had this to say 'The different format to the weekend certainly tested us all it gave us new elements to our racing to contend with and I believe we’ve all learnt from the experience.'
He went on to say 'being part of the event was fantastic, watching racers from the World championship competing at the same event has been an inspiration and makes me even more determined to succeed and one day to follow in the footsteps of Erik Stark and my Dad to become and F2 World Champion.'
Powerboat Grand Prix website
by Nicola Drummond
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3:06 PM Thu 20 Sep 2012GMT
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