Pertemps return to Plymouth looking for glory
Marking only the second year of action for the flagship P1 Panther 28SS boat, the UK’s premier powerboat racing championship has attracted crop of exciting newcomers and retained some established stars.
Heading the starting line-up for the visit to Plymouth Sound is reigning P1 250 Champions John Wilson and Neil Scarborough in their Pertemps-backed Panther 28SS. Determined to win their third title in as many seasons, having won the P1 150 Class in 2010, the duo faces a stern test with seven other P1 250 crews bidding to topple them.
“We’re back to defend our championship crown and that’s what we intend to do”, said John Wilson.
“We’re back to defend our championship crown and that’s what we intend to do”, said Wilson, “It would be fantastic to win the P1 250 title two years in succession, but we do know it’ll be an incredibly tough challenge with so many experienced competitors and some new faces who could spring surprises. It’s set to be a great year of P1 SuperStock racing.”
Typhoo Racing pairing Andy Wilby and Miles Jennings will undoubtedly be a major threat as will 2011 rookie sensations, Simon Bayles and Philippa Baker in their PaLu backed boat.
The dark horse is undoubtedly professional single-seater racing driver Dean Stoneman, who has put his Formula One aspirations on hold to make his fulltime racing return in P1 SuperStock UK after spending a painful 2011 battling cancer. The 21-year old 2010 FIA Formula Two champion is a keen powerboat driver but will make his racing debut on the sea in Plymouth, with his friend Dean Paling navigating.
Newcomer Nick Williams
Other notable confirmed entries for Plymouth include newcomer Nick Williams, son of former Formula One powerboat world and European champion Tony, and his navigator Aaron Emmett in the IFX Racing boat.
Mike Lovell and Luke Elkin will race the Peters & May Racing with Brookspeed craft, whilst rally driver Simon Wing teams-up with experienced P1 SuperStock competitor Ian Brusby in the familiar Edox Swiss Watches boat. Newcomers James Norvil/Jon Collingbourne complete P1 250 entry in Oval Insurance.
In the ever-competitive P1 150 Class last year’s champions Team Purple, husband and wife duo Stuart and Sara Cureton, are back to try and make it two championship victories on the trot and will be up against five other boats. Fellow husband and wife team David and Kirsty Toozs-Hobson are entered for the Plymouth race in Macdonald Mermaid, whilst 2011 runner-up Rose Lores returns at the wheel of Eclipse.
Black Magic, piloted by father and daughter Vince and Jade Berridge, also makes a welcome return to P1 150 while a new outfit this year is Team PowerTech with Sam Whittle moving from the navigator’s seat to get behind the wheel as driver whilst Andy Streeting is co-pilot.
Perhaps the most interesting entry in P1 150 comes from the charity Mission Motorsport, with its crew of former service personnel recovering from the effects of battle. Driver Mark Neale and navigator Gav Harvey have been undergoing intensive training to be ready for Plymouth and with backing from Pertemps are raring to go.
After the Plymouth Grand Prix of the Sea on 19/20 May, P1 SuperStock will visit Hull in East Yorkshire on 16/17 June before the championship returns to the south coast for round three in Eastbourne over the weekend 14/15 July. The annual visit to Cowes on the Isle of Wight follows on 25/26 August, with the season finale now confirmed for Southampton on the opening weekend of the PSP Southampton Boat Show on 15/16 September.