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Yes, you read it right! Now here’s why. First off, two new state of the art Henderson hydroplane boats for our 2013 GP champion Patrick Haworth and our GP World Record Holder Bert Henderson. Also, Ken Brodie (always a top runner) along with Marty Wolfe and Martin Rochon will be getting brand new 2014 Henderson sponsons. Throw in Tom Pakradooni finally getting his new GP Bergeron hull competitive, Brandon Kennedy (I told everyone before the 2013 season Brandon would win some races), then add Marc Theoret (always a top finisher) Mike Grendell with Mike Monahan at the wheel, and last but not least Ghislain Marcoux who in my opinion has been at times the fastest GP boat in our fleet. Take anyone of these ten boats and you’ll have a winner in 2014. Now, add in the fact that in 2014 our new rule that lets everyone use the new Electromotive ignition system which won’t make the boats any faster “BUT” will let them finish more races. Last year we had 26 MSD ignition failures and you know the old saying ” You’ve got to finish” if your going to get points towards the GP Championship. Not to forget Eric Langevin who at times proved to be the fastest Bergeron hull in the fleet; this is why I say 2014 “WILL” be the fastest year in “ALL” of GP history. Yes, I know “back in the day” Robert, Jean, Jimmy, and a few others had their big motors and yes, they did haul ass down the straightaways but todays boats are cutting seconds off going around turns thus making faster lap times in today’s GP events. Stay tuned all you race fans you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. As I said in my headline “2014 WILL BE THE MOST COMPETITIVE YEAR IN ACHA GRAND PRIX HISTORY.”
Now that that’s all said I’d like to thank Marc Lecompte and Norm Shannon for their contribution to the Grand Prix class over the years and wish them good luck in their future endeavors. Also, I would like to welcome into our small GP owners/driver’s group Mathieu Daoust who will be running the ex-GP104 Bergeron hull in 2014. Mathieu’s been running in the H-350 class and should be a very good addition to our GP class. Claude Tremblay will join his team as crew chief and Mathieu couldn’t have picked a better crew chief and team member. It’s always healthy to add new blood to your sport. Oh! by the way Mathieu will be a new daddy soon. He and Jessica Stafford will be welcoming a new baby girl soon. Best of luck to this great couple. Look out Mathieu, now you’ve got ‘two’ new babies to worry about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well that’s about all the news and rumors I have for now. I’d like to wish all our officials, owners, drivers, and especially our race fans a very “Merry Christmas” and a Happy 2014 New Year”.
A backup driver no more! Mike Monahan will get his shot when he’ll be taking over driving duties for the GP-79 EMS Bad Influence team in 2014. Mike is no stranger to driving Grand Prix. A few years back while driving for injured Marc Theoret in GP-444, Mike came up a few feet short against Pierre Maheu in the final in St. Felicien, QC. And in 2013 Mike filled in for injured Marty Wolfe in GP-93 Trafficade. In hydroplane racing circles, Mike’s been nicknamed the “World’s Best Backup Driver”, but that’s about to change.
Joe Sovie has been offered to stay on as backup driver for both the GP-79 and the H350, along with Crew Chief on both hulls. “The hard work and dedication Joe brings to this team is unbelievable,” says team owner Mike Grendell. “There’s nothing he can’t do” adds Mike. Sovie will still be driving the GP boat at APBA events, just as the EMS team in 2013.
Grendell also announced that Paul Barber, driver of the H-66 will now be Engine Chief for both the GP-79 & H-79. Derek Smith will drive the H-79, which is the former H-10 Jones hull driven by Jonathan Abbott.
Grand Prix hydroplane learned today that Mathieu Daoust, driver of the H-9 L’Olympique will make his Grand Prix debut in 2014.
The Daoust Family came to an agreement with Norm Shannon to acquire all the equipment of the GP-104 Pièces d’auto Valleyfield team.
“Our team is thrilled to move up to the Grand Prix class. It will be a great challenge for us and I am very happy. 2014 will be a season to gain experience, but I intend to show everyone all my ability. If everything goes well, we will work hard and go test in Stuart, Florida before the first race of the ACHA season. I would like to thank all my crew members who already confirm their commitment to our team. Thank you to my family as well, along with my girlfriend to share this dream with me” said Mathieu Daoust.
Daoust will be the 4th driver of this hull after Claude Bergeron in the GP-444 Grand Prix Valleyfield in 2010, and the duo of Norm Shannon and Marc Lecompte.
Grand Prix Hydroplane wishes best of luck to Mathieu Daoust and his team in this new adventure.
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