New racing monohull proves a success in Peters & May Jersey Grand Prix
A Birmingham man has become the first person to win a P1 Superstock race behind the wheel of one of the new P1 Panther 250hp class boats.
Competing in the Peters & May Jersey Grand Prix over the weekend, John Wilson led the opening heat from start to finish before maintaining his success in the second, moving ahead of the fleet on the retirement of early leader, Edox, five laps from the chequered flag.
“We have had a fantastic day and an amazing start to the season. Winning both races is just the best feeling but I know from experience that it’s a long season and lots can happen between now and the finale in Liverpool,” he said.
Powerboat P1 saw eight new 250hp Panther offshore racers make the start line in its inaugural race ahead of its United States debut in a few weeks.
Championship regulars were shocked by the stunning performance of Team 88, driven by Simon Bayles and Philippa Baker, who finished second in heat two after placing fifth in the first round in what was the team’s first ever powerboat race.
“Today was our first experience of powerboat racing and to make the podium is just amazing. The boats are all equal which makes it that much easier for newcomers like us to be competitive.”
The constant pressure eventually saw Shelly Jory-Leigh, making a comeback to Superstock (originally Honda Formula 4-Stroke) after a two-year absence, tire and fall back to finish sixth.
Stuart and Sara Cureton driving Team Purple (pictured) won both Superstock 150hp heats. The success of this husband and wife team was never in doubt in either race.
“To be honest I am surprised the race wasn’t closer. We made two great starts and then just drove away from the pack. Although we had a fair sized cushion we never backed off. It’s just great to have started the season with two wins and maximum points,” said Stuart.
The opening 150hp race saw a close scrap between Rose Lores and Tom Hunter in Eclipse and local St Helier crew, Martin Colligan and Liam McDermott, in Team Fox.
The pair raced neck and neck to the finish with Eclipse just edging ahead. The result was repeated in the second heat but this time the two boats were well separated leaving Team Fox too far astern to mount a serious challenge.