Honda Formula 4-Stroke series organiser Steve Curtis claimed another place in the record books on Friday (18 October) when he clinched the 2002 Class 1 World Offshore Powerboat Championship
Honda Formula 4-Stroke series organiser Steve Curtis claimed another place in the record books on Friday (18 October) when he clinched the 2002 Class 1 World Offshore Powerboat Championship at the final round in Dubai. Curtis now becomes the first person to win the Class 1 world title four times, 17 years after he became the youngest competitor and first Englishman to ever capture the Class 1 crown.
Curtis and his Norwegian driver Bjorn Rune Gjelsten in ‘Spirit of Norway’ dominated the 2002 Class 1 season with four grands prix wins in Germany, Britain, Norway and Turkey and a hat-trick of title triumphs including the 2002 European Class 1 Championship and the 2002 World Class 1 Pole Position Championship. Gjelsten and Curtis arrived in Dubai having already won the pole position title at the preceding round in Qatar and only requiring a top-seven finish to reclaim the championship title they last held in 1998. The Anglo-Norwegian pairing took second place at the Dubai GP behind their closest rivals Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama in ‘Victory 7’ to win the eight-round world title by eleven points.
“That was the toughest World Championship I have ever won,” commented an elated Curtis. “I suppose that earlier in my career I might have gone all out to win the race but I’m older and wiser now and we were happy to settle for second and the world title. This is like the Oscars for powerboat racers” Curtis continued “We don’t get the amount of recognition other sportsmen enjoy but that’s not always such a bad thing. I’d like the money Michael Schumacher gets but then he can’t just walk down the street and do what he likes whereas I can.”
“Everyone at Honda is thrilled with Steve’s victory,” commented Martin Sanders, General Manager Power Equipment, Honda (UK). “Steve is an integral part of the Honda Formula 4-Stroke series and has contributed hugely to the success of the championship. We have always been very proud of our association with him and we’re pleased that he has now become one of Britain’s few record-breaking World Champions [in power boating] and has reconfirmed his status as the best throttle man in the world.”