New racing format at Plymouth gets mixed reception

The Honda Formula 4-Stroke series hit the Plymouth Sound over the weekend for the second round of its 2008 championship series. But unlike its previous racing format, the opening races in the two-day event were used as qualifiers in an effort to reduce numbers in the final heats in an effort to ease congestion on the multi-lap course.
By increasing the programme from four to eight races over two days, timing was critical but the fact each class was split in two making the result difficult to calculate, left many competitors unhappy with the arrangement.
Following the qualifying rounds on Saturday both the 150hp and 225hp events had two starting groups producing a hare and tortoise contest.
The two final 150hp class events were fought hard with Drainstore.com winning the first of two short races followed closely by Salcombe Racing. However Premier Cru took Delmar‘s third place on the final bend.
Yet another home win came for local hero’s, Gavin Parsonage and Nathan Libby aboard Negotiator in the 225hp race against tough competition from fellow Plymouth team Scream-it.com driven by Richard George and Nikki Sanders who shot through in second.
Michael and Stephen Baggs driving Vortigern proved their mettle yet again with third place and could be the 225hp championship’s dark horse.
After being disqualified in Saturday’s qualifier for missing a buoy James Brooke aboard Earls Court Boat Show in the 150hp class came back in style with his first ever win. Navigated by new crew member Daniel Whapples, the duo threw up their arms as they crossed the finish line leaving Jak Cockman in Drainstore.com and Jerry McArthur’s Salcombe Racing to collect second and third.
David Cowley and Paul Barkshire, the 2007 150hp champion winners aboard Lings who moved into the 225hp class this year, had a three lap battle with defending 225 champions Negotiator. Lings eventually had to settle for second with the local Plymouth crew of Gavin Parsonage and Nathan Libby taking overall honours’ after winning both qualifiers and final two races.