The BAR-Honda Powerboat Racers Challenge final took place yesterday off Cowes, and the team that will represent BAR-Honda has been chosen after careful deliberation by the judges
The BAR-Honda Powerboat Racers Challenge final took place yesterday off Cowes, and the team that will represent BAR-Honda has been chosen after careful deliberation by the judges.
The event was organised to find a driver and navigator for the BAR (British American Racing) boat that will be campaigned this season in the Honda Formula 4-Stroke 225 series. As co-sponsors of the boat, Motor Boat & Yachting were on hand to run the rule over five drivers and four navigators and help (among others) four-times World Class 1 Champion Steve Curtis pick what we hope will be a winning team.
Each finalist had to undergo a written test, interviews with Honda and BAR managers to assess their suitability as team-members, TV interviews conducted by Motor Boat & Yachting Editor Tom Isitt to assess their performance in front of the cameras, as well as specific on-water tests to assess their driving or navigational abilities. Steve Curtis was the man the drivers had to impress, and veteran powerboat instructor Peter White was the man the navigators had to impress.
The standard of drivers and navigators in the final was exceptional, but a choice had to be made and the winners were Robert Lister (driver) and Martin Park (navigator). These two win a season racing the BAR-Honda boat in the Formula 4-Stroke 225 championship, with all costs covered for them, and they will also be rubbing shoulders with BAR team-mates Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve at various F1 events.
“The competition for these two race seats was much fiercer than expected,” commented Martin Sanders, General Manager Power Equipment, Honda (UK). “All the finalists had considerable boat handling experience and many had also raced in other powerboat classes. However, we were not just looking for a team that would be strong podium contenders. We also wanted a driver and navigator who would be comfortable in front of the media and who would be good ambassadors for both BAR and Honda (UK). We’re confident that we’ve found the right team and we’ll watch their progress throughout the season with interest.”
“The whole day was fantastic,” commented 2003 BAR powerboat driver Rob Lister. “The 225hp race boat was beautiful to drive, not dissimilar to boats I’ve handled before but with its own characteristics that I’m looking forward to mastering. This is quite simply a dream come true.”
Motor Boat & Yachting will be covering the series throughout the season, so watch this space.