Last weekend several drivers competing in the CPA Formula Grand Prix National Championship for 2022 were out testing in stunning, yet incredibly cold conditions at the Stewartby Water Sports Club, England.
The Jelf Racing team were back in action making the most of the early test session with Colin Jelf and Ian Blacker putting the teams Formula Grand Prix boats through their paces in the build-up to the forthcoming season.
Team Manager Colin Jelf had this to say following the session
It was great to get a test session under way and blow the winter cold webs away. Unfortunately, Ben Jelf had to work so he will need to wait for his test session in two weeks’ time. We’ve got a remarkably busy season ahead of us and all the team are working hard to make sure we get the season off to a flyer.
Having had a winter ‘make-over’ Leon Wigg’s BaBa hull was certainly turning heads in the pits thanks to its new livery.
As a team we have all been working extremely hard over the winter period and I must give a massive thank you to Phantom Marine for the professional repair they carried out to the bottom of the hull. Plus, also a big thanks to my other sponsors for their contribution, it is very appreciated
Although his main focus will be racing in the F4 class it didn’t stop Jonny Brewer getting some valuable seat time in his recently acquired Moore hull.
Since I got the boat, I’ve spent several late nights getting it ready. I have noticed there is much more to think about with the F2 compared to the F4 like remembering to turn the power steering on, something I forgot to do in the first practice session and my arms were killing after!
When I went out in the second session, this time with the power steering turned on, I felt so confident in the boat. It was running nicely down the straights; I could turn it exactly where I wanted and never felt like I wasn’t in control. One thing I noticed compared to Steve Holt’s Molgaard that I tested back in September is that the Moore carries a lot more speed through the turns.
As everyone who saw me get out of the boat at the end of the weekend, I had a huge smile on my face. It’s only testing so I’m not really thinking anything of it, but I did post the fastest time of the weekend in F2. The boat feels very fast, and my confidence was building and building after every session.
For the reigning Formula Grand Prix British Champion Sam Whittle, it turned out to be an extremely frustrating weekend. This season the UK’s CPA Scrutineers are making sure that all craft adhere to rule 9.1. in the CPA Rule Book, which states the following: ‘Steering wheel and drum must be secured and locked on the shaft, the unit must be through bolted and locked to the dash panel or steering mount bar.’ Does carrying out this modification impact on the steering integrity; some say it might but manufacturers like Molgaard have had this fitted in their boats for several seasons and now this requirement will mean all the Moore runners will need to carry out this modification before they can race in the UK.
Stewartby Powerboat and Hydroplane Racing dates this season are as follows; details as to whether testing or club racing will be confirmed nearer each meeting.
16 April – Easter Saturday – Testing.
17 April – Easter Sunday – Club Race.
13/14 August – CPA Sprint Championship
17/18 September – CPA National Championship
Photos: Fred Emeny