Severe weather threatened the opening rounds of the Formula 4-Stroke Series at Torquay
There were wet and windy conditions for the opening round of the 2007 Honda Formula 4-Stroke Series in Torquay on 12-13 but nothing could dampen the spirit of the 36 competitors participating in the championship – now the world’s largest offshore powerboat series.
Poor visibility and heavy rain, which had threatened Sunday’s race, made way for sunshine allowing the 75th round to go ahead.
Saturday’s winners in the 150hp class, Neil Crabb and Lee Darbyshire driving Premier Cru, took the chequered flag for a second time after setting the fastest average at 45.18mph. Local boys Jak Cockman and Andy Phipps in Cider Daze 150 improved on their third position in the first round by finishing second, ahead of Marcus Bradshaw and Aron Jackson in Construction Racing.
“We started really well which set us up for the rest of the race,” said Cockman. “It’s been a hard weekend with some difficult conditions but we’re happy with our results”.
The 225hp competitors set off under increasingly cloudy skies to tussle it out for a place on the podium. After 12 laps, Gavin Parsonage and Nathan Libby aboard Negotiator came storming home in first place ahead of second placed Miles Dobson and Phil Haynes in Don’t Panic with Jack Glendinning and Simon Bucknall in Airwaves Claygate third. The first round 225hp winners Haydn Evans and Rhys Evans in Salcombe Honda Specialists couldn’t repeat their success and were unable to continue the race.
“After Saturday we knew how difficult it would be out there,” said an elated Parsonage. “We’re really happy with the performance of our boat and we’re looking forward to the next race”.
The weekend marked Honda Formula 4-Stroke’s return to Torquay after a seven-year absence from the resort where the series made its debut on 29 May in 1999.
“It’s been fantastic returning to Torquay where the series first launched,” said Martin Sanders, General Manager, Honda (UK) Power Equipment. “We’ve grown from five two-person crews in 1999 to nearly 40 teams in 2007. It’s an incredible achievement and proof that the series continues to grow from strength to strength”.
From Torquay the series moves to the Isle of Man’s Douglas Bay which plays host to the third and fourth rounds of 2007 championship on 16/17 June.
2007 Torquay Grand Prix
Race results – Sunday 13th May
HF4S 150 Series – 10 laps
1. PREMIER CRU – Neil Crabb / Lee Darbyshire
2. CIDER DAZE 150 – Jak Cockman / Andy Phipps
3. CONSTRUCTION RACING – Marcus Bradshaw / Aron Jackson
4. LINGS RACING – David Cowley / Paul Barkshire
5. TEAM EBEL – Graham Foster-Vigors / Harry Armer
6. LONGSHANKS – Barry Roberts / Briony Roberts
7. LOCAMOTION – Rose Lores / Sharyn Brown
8. DELMAR GROUP FLOORING – Tony Crossley / Mark Glanville
9. ALIEN – Ian Bull / Rob Chambers
10. M & M RACING – Jerry McArthur / Jonny Twelvetrees
11. POLE POSITION – Clive Coote / Tim Coote
12. SPACE.CO.UK – Miles Dobson / Dion Malcom
13. CLAYGATE AIRWAVES – Nick Clemson / Paul Trow-Smith
H4FS 225hp Series – 12 laps
1. NEGOTIATOR – Gavin Parsonage / Nathan Libby
2. DON’T PANIC – Miles Dobson / Phil Haynes
3. CLAYGATE AIRWAVES – Jack Glendinning / Simon Bucknall
4. CIDER DAZE – Dave Cockman / Mark Cockman
5. ENGLISH HERITAGE BUILDINGS – Darren Hook / David Harwood
6. TEAM RAYMARINE – Shelly Jory / Libby Kier
7. VORTIGERN – Stephen Baggs / Michael Baggs
8. CLAYGATE BATHROOMS – Martin Marsh / Roger Marsh
9. BUILDBASE – Kevin Marshall / Adam Ford
10. SCREAM-IT.COM – Richard George / Danny Bamping
11. POWER OF DREAMS GERMANY – Mike Heijmans / Olaf Ziegs