By Marty Brault
(Cover shot by Marty Brault)
Here is a look at the 2014 ACHA GP fleet. At the first race in Stuart some teams showed they are ready. The new GP-777 showed a lot of speed, GP-444 and GP-101 were very strong. GP-88, GP-50 and GP-25 proved they need to be taken seriously and Mathieu Daoust in GP-9 made an impressive debut.
Time to make your bets for the season!”
|Patrick Haworth||The 2013 champion will be driving a brand new boat built by Jamie Auld. Patrick will miss Stuart but his reliability should bring him back in the championship race sooner or later.|
|Marc Théoret||Second in the 2013 championship, Marc will want to show he can be a champion.|
|Marty Wolfe||New sponsons should prevent from missing heats because of frequent hull damage.|
|Brandon Kennedy||With some improvement done to the hull by Scott Kropfeld and last years performance, Brandon will be one to watch.|
|Ghislain Marcoux||Probably the fastest of the field, Ghislain will be almost unbeatable if everything holds together.|
|Ken Brodie||With new sponsons and a little more reliability Ken will be a strong contender.|
|Mike Monahan||Monahan's experience will be a great value to this team.|
|Bert Henderson||After a tough season and with a new hull, the Steeler team will have high expectations.|
|Tom Pakradooni||Second year with the latest Bergeron hull, Tom will want to show what he can do.|
|Éric Langevin||Can be real fast but Eric needs to find the trick to keep everything together and finish more heats.|
|Martin Rochon||After their first year in GP, this team could bring some surprises this year.|
|Mathieu Daoust||Rookie year for this young driver.|
This past Friday, Hydroplane Quebec went to Brockville to see the progression of a couple boats either in construction or being repaired.
We first saw Kent Henderson’s new hull. Kent will make his debut in the Hydro350 class this year. Also, here is the GP-9 where the sponsons have been changed. The team took possession of the hull Friday night. Lastly, the new GP-777 Steeler which is almost finished. The Steeler’s team was almost complete Friday as they wanted to finish the boat as soon as possible. The boat should be taken to the paint shop by next weekend.
By JP Poulin
Boy time sure flies. Up until now it seemed April and May would never get here, now everyone is thrashing to get their boats ready to head to good old “warm” South Florida. From talking to most of our owners there will be 13/14 GPs at our first race event in Stuart. With new boats, updated boats, and different drivers for some it looks like there will be a lot of restrictions for the first few heats. Thank goodness we will have testing most of the day Friday. I don’t know all the details yet but we will have a TV production crew in Stuart filming our races. As soon as I get some more info I will pass it on to everybody or post it on Facebook.
Just saw some pictures of the new rap of the GP-77 “Coppertone” and it really looks cool. It’s Saturday here in Cincinnati and we’re running the new engine for the Coppertone GP on the Dyno with the new ignition system installed. Tomorrow we will be running the Steeler motors on the Dyno also with the new Electromotive ignition system installed. So far there are 5 GP boats with this system and I’m sure as soon as everyone else has problems with the old MSD mag systems they too will be going to the new style ignition systems.
Jamie Auld is working 24/7 on Patrick’s new GP and there’s an outside chance he will make it to Stuart but there’s still a lot of work to do on it.It seems the whole fleet of GPs will have new Henderson sponsons this year and like I’ve said in my last two newsletters this year will be the most competitive in GP history.
Hope to see a lot of you in Florida next month. Until then, take care and continued safe racing.
What a month it was. Both of Canada’s hockey teams won gold at the Olympics, Dale Jr. won his 2nd Daytona 500, and Ghislain Marcoux won the 2014 GP driver’s championship poll. Below is a breakdown on who voted for whom in our annual poll. Just about everyone who voted for Ghislain said he’s got to get his mechanical problems under control. We all know he’s probably the fastest GP boat in the series and came within a straightaway of winning the Valleyfield GP final last year. What about Brandon’s second place finish in the poll? Scott Kropfelds got the boat down at his race shop in Florida completely going through every little nut and bolt plus redoing the deck attachment and changing the strut angle to get a little more speed and better handling down the straights. Scott tells me this will be Brandon’s year. After last year’s performance he could very well be right. But don’t count Bert and his Steeler team out just yet. The new boat will be finished around the middle of April with a lot of updates and should be very competitive right out of the box. Mike Endres has the new ignition system ready to bolt in and Huey’s got two new motors ready to go on the Dyno in two weeks. Back to the poll, several people wanted to vote for Patrick Haworth but knew his new GP boat wouldn’t be finished for the start of the 2014 ACHA season in Stuart, Florida the weekend of May 18th.
Here are the results of the poll:
Mike Grendell, owner 1- GP-25 2- GP-777 3- GP-101
George Kennedy, owner GP-88 GP-93 GP-777
Joe Sovie, driver GP-25 GP-101 GP-93
Francois Lepage, fan GP-777 GP-444 GP-101
Joe Marley, crew GP-77 GP-101 GP-25
Mike Weber, driver GP-101 GP-777 GP-88
Tom Pakradooni, owner GP-57 GP-12 GP-777
Joel Himbeault, fan GP-101 GP-777 GP-444
Bert Henderson, driver GP-101 GP-93 GP-25
Marty Wolfe, driver GP-444 GP-101 GP-25
Paul Davidson, fan GP-777 GP-101 GP-57
J.P. Poulin, camera GP-101 GP-444 GP-57
Ken Brodie, owner GP-777 GP-444 GP-25
Louis Allard, fan GP-25 GP-88 GP-777
Sam Stechishen, crew GP-101 GP-88 GP-25
Mathieu Daoust, driver GP-25 GP-101 GP-777
Eric Langevin, driver GP-101 GP-25 GP-777
Jeff Richards, crew GP-25 GP-101 GP-93
Brandon Kennedy, driver GP-444 GP-88 GP-101
Huey Newport, owner GP-25 GP-101 GP-50
Scott Kropfeld, crew GP-101 GP-777 GP-50
Martin Rochon, driver GP-777 GP-25 GP-444
Mike Geblein, crew GP-101 GP-57 GP-25
Marc Perrier, fan GP-777 GP-101 GP-25
Mike Monahan, driver GP-25 GP-444 GP777
Mike Endres, crew GP-88 GP-101 GP-25
J.F. Rheaume, crew GP-777 GP-101 GP-25
Dave Birion, crew GP-25 GP-777 GP-101
Marc Theoret, driver GP-101 GP-25 GP-777
Ghislain Marcoux, driver GP444 GP-777 GP-25
Pierre Boutin, crew GP-25 GP-57 GP-777
Patrick Haworth, driver GP-25 GP-93 GP-50
Positions determined by calculation as follows:
1st place =3pts, 2nd place =2pts, 3rd place =1pt.
1er = Ghislain Marcoux – GP-101 – total 51pts.
2eme = Brandon Kennedy – GP-25 – total 46pts.
3eme = Bert Henderson – GP-777 – total 41pts.
© 2014 Grand Prix Hydroplane.