The 2015 Powerboat GP British Championship this weekend headed to Kingsbury Waterpark in Warwickshire for the third round of this year’s campaign. Five classes were in action with competitors as young as 10 years old battling it out for British Championship points.
Saturday saw fantastic weather for the competitors and spectators alike as they lined the banks at Kingsbury Waterpark. First up for the weekend were the GT30s where Ben Jelf looked ready to dominate once again. Following on from strong performances at Lancashire and Lowestoft that saw him secure both earlier rounds the youngster remained focussed as they headed into qualification a whole 2 seconds faster than the chasing fleet. Whilst Ben remained on form Luke Hugman, Bexley Nunn and Jamie Norris all did battle throughout the 3 heats vying for positions and battling to control their boats heading into and out of the turns. Remaining untouchable throughout the weekend Ben secured another hat trick of wins to seize the Kingsbury crown making it three out of three championship wins.
Next up were the T850 class in what was going to be some thrilling racing. Chester’s Will Wood secured pole position but as they boats left the start jetty for the first heat he found himself left behind. Nigel Edwards capitalised on Wood’s absence to secure the heat win. The battle was on in heat 2 and Matt Wood and Nigel went headed to head for the second win of the day with Matt just pipping Nigel at the post. So it was down to the third and final heat to decide the Kingsbury crown with Matt Wood taking the final heat win to win the Kingsbury GP T850 Class.
Mike Pillow continued his command of the F4 Championship campaign once more securing pole position and then 3 straight heat wins to secure another championship title. With Mike in a comfortable lead all weekend it was left to Rob Veares and Sam Whittle to fight it out for 2nd position. There was little separating the two young guns all weekend as they went head to head for the silver medal position Rob Veares took first blood in heat 1, but it was role reversed in heat two so the podium would be decided on the third and final heat. It was an epic battle with positions alternating throughout the race but Sam Whittle sailed home into second behind Pillow leaving Rob Veares the Bronze medal podium place.
The OSY400 Hydroplanes were back out in action for their second championship round with championship leader Luke Hugman getting a strong start to lead the way in the weekends proceedings, however disaster struck in the first head as Luke headed out of behind the island and was caught by the wind barrel rolling out of the heat. With the restart underway Jamie Marr took the first win of the weekend. Back out on the water Hugman was determined to rectify the situation and sailed home to a strong second heat win. Heading into the final heat with two second place finishes a third place finish for Jason Mantripp would see him secure his first national win. As they skimmed away from the start Mantripp was left behind and had everything to do to take the win. Bearing down on Bexley Nunn with every turn of the course on the fourth turn he manoeuvred past the youngster and into the Podium top spot.
The final class to compete over the course of the weekend were the junior GT15 drivers in a championship battle that has had everyone on the edge of their seats this season. Pole Position went to reigning champion Thomas Mantripp who unbelievably secured his first ever pole position in his racing career. On a high and focussed on the task of keeping adversary Jonathan Brewer in his wing mirrors. Thomas set about the task of reclaiming his championship lead. Try as he might Jonathan
just couldn’t catch the Lowestoft youngster as Mantripp made it another championship win securing a trio of heat wins. Meanwhile throughout the rest of the fleet local youngster Harvey Smith put in a strong and steady performance to bag the bronze medal. In the final heat disaster struck for George Elmore as he early started and Jack Pickles hooked on lap 3 causing both to lose vital racing positions.
Powerboat GP Promoter Jason Brewer commented on another fantastic weekend of racing “Kingsbury Waterpark creates an incredible venue for powerboat racing with all the action just metres from the shore meaning no matter where spectators line the shore they get a brilliant vantage point of all the racing as it unfolds.”
He continued “We’ve now reached the halfway point in the season and whilst there are some dominating drivers in some of the classes there’s still everything to race for and battles will continue until the final chequered flag of the season.”
The campaign continues in just five days as the Powerboat GP Championship moves to Chasewater in Staffordshire for the fourth round of the championship over the 18th & 19th July.