Honda series warms up

The seventh and eighth round of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke championships saw the closest racing so far...

The seventh and eighth round of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke championships on the Clyde Estuary off Largs on August 9-10 saw the closest racing so far.

Although the 225hp class points leader, King of Shaves driven by James Sheppard and Neil Sinclair won the seventh it was toppled in the eighth by Jack Glendinning and Simon Bucknall in Honda Racing.

Honda Racing, which came second in the first race, is now too far down the points table to feature in the overall championship but its success proved the vulnerability of King of Shaves, currently leading the title challenge.

“We’ve been getting to know the boat over the last few rounds,” commented Glendinning. “She runs really well and we had a fantastic race.” King of Shaves spent most of the time tussling with B.A.R and so wasn’t able to catch Simon and I as we made clear water. We ran well in the 130hp class at Largs last year and today’s win easily makes it our favourite round of the series.”

Rob Lister and Martin Park in ‘B.A.R’ ended their run of bad luck by claiming their first podium finish. “I’m very happy with that!” said Park. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. We had a couple of technical problems during the race which meant that we eventually lost out to King of Shaves, but we played the pit lap well, got up to second at one point and were involved in some great racing today. Now all we need is consistency.” In the 130hp class, rookie team 2 finished second so repeating their incredible first race result. Driver James Baker and navigator Nick Warren narrowly led the twelve-strong fleet from buoy one, after a very quick and fiercely competitive start that pushed championship leader Team Impact back into fourth place. Gareth Ebenezer and Phil Haynes in ‘Team Impact’ then picked off their competitors one by one until they were lying second by lap two.

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A spectacular four-lap battle ensued between the title favorites and the rookies, with the two boats neck-and-neck for almost a full 2.72-mile lap. Team Impact finally won the advantage on lap six and then held the lead for the remainder of the 12-lap race.

Driver Ebenezer, elated from matching the King of Shaves team record of five race wins in one season, commented, “We had a disappointing start, mainly because everyone was so quick – we had three boats inside us on the first mark! Chasing 2 was tough. We worked a variety of different lines to try to rattle James, and eventually made it past by sheer perseverance. 2 then took their pit lap and we managed to put a bit more space between us. It was a good race, a good scrap and a great result!”

Alan Young and navigator Ian Bull in Alien were equally thrilled with their first podium finish after crossing the line third.

“We had a terrible race on the first day which really motivated us for the second. Our tactics were spot on – we took our pit lap early and avoided any collisions which makes a nice change! It was a great race – the Alien has landed!”


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