The Bank Holiday weekend (24 – 25 May) saw the RYA Powerboat GP British Championship series head to Oulton Broad for the Lowestoft GP. Teams from all over Britain travelled to the popular circuit in Nicholas Everitt Park to compete in the second round of the championship.
Five championship classes took to the water to do battle each competing for pole position and then racing over three heats to try and secure the vital championship points.
First up was the junior GT15 class where competitors aged from 9 – 16 race at speeds in excess of 40mph. Heading into the weekend it was Lowestoft’s very own Thomas Mantripp leading the championship but looking to put a dampener on his previous success was Lincoln’s Jonathan Brewer who had his eye firmly on the top spot.
Brewer went on to dominate in all three heats leaving Thomas Mantripp to fall in behind him to take second in all the heats and overall in the GP with Harvey Smith securing the third and final podium place.
In the GT30 class, European & British Champion Ben Jelf continued to dominate securing pole position and repeating his hat trick of clear heat wins.
For Nunn and Hugman the battle continued in the OSY400 class where they were joined by James Bowman and Jason Mantripp. The four local Lowestoft racers competed in their first championship round of 2015, all looking for the first honours. As they skimmed across the water with their faces inches from the surface it was Luke Hugman that took the lead taking 3 straight wins to secure his home GP title.
The F4 class saw Mike Pillow leading the fleet as he raced his way to the top of the podium to claim his second win of the season. As predicted, Sam Whittle really put the pressure on Mike and their epic scrap for the lead kept the crowds thrilled. The surprise performance of the weekend came from Rob Vears, who at one point looked set to seriously challenge for the top podium spot and Natalia Craddock recovered well from an impressive spin-out that caused her to lose vital time.
With the other four classes decided all attentions turned to the roar of the Big Cats as the F2 Catamarans took to the water. Young gun Matthew Palfreyman had thrown down the gauntlet on home water at the Lancashire GP and was out to prove he could do it again. But it was former World Champion Colin Jelf that would secure pole position as he put past problems behind him and stormed through qualifying.
In Heat 1 former F1 racer Alan Marshall led the race from start to finish. Heat 2 saw a superb start from Steve Hoult for him to take an early lead against club mate Palfreyman who both bore down on him with every turn but Hoult’s lead was just too strong.
To complete the podium everything would go down to the final heat and with points so close between Colin and Alan Marshall, either one of them could take the final podium place. As the red lights went out Steve Hoult once more got a flying start and rounding the first mark, Colin was hot on his wake in second with Palfreyman breathing down his neck in Third.
The heat is now most definitely ‘on’ in the 2015 RYA Powerboat GP British Championship and the excitement is building as the series now moves to Kingsbury Waterpark on the 11 -12 July.
Keep up to date with everything Powerboat GP
Powerboat GP 2015 Calendar:
- 02 – 03 May – Lancashire GP
- 24 – 25 May – Lowestoft GP
- 11 – 12 July – Kingsbury GP
- 18 – 19 July – Cannock GP
- 01 – 02 August – Bedford Sprint Championship
- 29 – 30 August – Nottingham GP World F4, OSY400 & GT30 Championships
- 29 – 30 August – Nottingham GP – F2 Round
- 12 – 13 September – Bedford GP (Finals)