Patrick Haworth will be able to make his comeback to the Grand Prix Class.
Denis Bourbonnais – Saint-François Newspaper
Patrick Haworth’s comeback to the Grand Prix class will be in 2012!
After a few months of negotiations due to circumstances out of his control, the Valleyfield resident pilote is now set for the upcoming (ACHA) American Canadian Hydroplane Association season. The 40 year old will be the driver and owner of the former GP-46 in which Pierre Maheu won the 2011 High Points Championship. The former ADF Diesel was Patrick Haworth’s target since the beginning of the winter but Haworth has not been able to put the necessary sponsorship together to meet the financial requirements inherent to the operations of a Grand Prix team.
The multiple hydroplane champion had instead reached an agreement with Charles “Chuck” Woodruff to drive the boat that was to campaign under the name of Miss Stuart GP-45 this year.
Following the tragic death of the legendary “Rookie” on March 18th, during a Vintage demonstration race in Tavares, Florida, Patrick lost his ride when the Woodruff’s family decided to give the boat back to the Valleyfield Regatta organization. Decisions had to be made quickly and the result of negotiations, it was decided Patrick Haworth was to become the heir of the GP-46.
The popular racer re-established his relations with former financial partners and his wish finally became true last week. Haworth found a major sponsorship partner that will be announced in the next few days and he will be at the wheel of the 2011 Champion boat when the season starts in Long Sault, Ontario on June 2nd.
“We worked hard to find funding and our efforts paid off” said Patrick Haworth. “There is not a lot of time left before the first race and we will have to work fast to build our engines” he added.
The boat will sport number GP-57 and will be named per the main sponsor.
Haworth is looking at different options for his engine program and he will make a decision shortly. Marty Wolfe and a St-Hilaire engine builder will be approached but Pierre Maheu’s engines are still a possibility.
Goal: Top 3
For his first season as an owner, Patrick Haworth would be satisfied to be in the top 3 contending for the championship. “We have a small budget and everything will be bought brand new. We will have to be careful while staying competitive. It will be important to bring the team together”. Patrick will count on the expertise of his dad Warren Haworth and of Dany Lafrance. Philippe Groleau, a retired military serviceman will be the handyman and another crew member will join the team shortly.
Patrick Haworth thinks that three boats will dominate this year: Daniel Mercier and Ghislain Marcoux’s GP-101 Groupe ABS; Bert Henderson’s new GP-777 Steeler and Jimmy Shane’s GP-10 The Charger. “I will study the boat and see what can be done to make it better. I’d like to finish in the top 3. I may have to take advantage of the failures of my opponents” said Haworth.
When he announced his comeback as a driver in October, Patrick Haworth was originally supposed to drive in the H-350 class before coming back to the Grand Prix class. He already had taken the ex El Diablo H-666 of Ghislain Marcoux following his decision to go Grand Prix.
Now that Patrick Haworth is going back to Grand Prix, the H-350 champion hull is available. As per the latest information obtained by LE Journal St. François, Marco Poirier would be the front runner to get this boat and graduate to the H-350 class.