By Denis Bourbonnais
Bert Henderson kept the momentum going and dominated the final in the Grand Prix class, in front of a crowded Bourcier Park for the 9th edition of the Régates de Beauharnois.
The championship had already been decided in Detroit a few weeks earlier, but the driver from Brockville (Ontario) led the last race of the day from start to finish, completing the four laps in 2 minutes 33 seconds in the GP-777 Steeler to win his second competition of the 2015 season.
Henderson, starting from the 2nd lane, came out the initial turn in first place, followed closely by Éric Langevin aboard the GP-12 Long Shot. The chances of winning of the latter dwindled in one fraction of a second when the driver from Mercier ran into the leader’s rooster tail and dangerously flew into the air.
While Henderson never looked back for the remaining of the race, Langevin regained his second place and kept it until the end with a 2:37 time, leading him to his first podium in the Grand Prix class. Langevin also holds the fastest time of the weekend (2:25) when he won the 3B qualifying heat.
Tom Pakradooni finished in third place with the GP-88 Rolling Thunder and the 69 points he made in Beauharnois secured him the second position in the standings, in front of Brandon Kennedy. Once again, the driver from Bear (Delaware) ran into some technical problems with the Team H8 EMS and could not make the final.
The final ranking saw a dominating Bert Henderson take the first position with 674 points, followed by Tom Pakradooni (512) and Brandon Kennedy (508).
2.5 litre and Formula 2500
The stakes were high in the 2.5 litre and Formula 2500 classes. Indeed, a new regulation put in place this year states that the first three drivers making up the 2.5 litre standings could move to the Formula 2500 class next season. On the other hand, drivers filling the last three spots in F2500 will race in the 2.5 litre class next year.
Even if Donald Leduc confirmed his champion status after his very first race of the weekend, on Saturday, to take his first championship in career with the F-48 Cannonball, the audience was treated to a very exciting final the next day. It was probably the most thrilling race of the season, all classes considered, even though the 8 participants missed the start.
Rob Stevenson aboard the F-10 Wet Spot came out victorious at the end of an epic battle involving three boats. Yan Beaupré, behind the wheel of the F-36 Yancy, had to fight a persistent Douglas Rapp, who registered fast times all weekend with the F-79 Bad Influence.
The third member of this trio, Rob Stevenson, stayed behind until mid-race, when he pushed his hydroplane to pass Rapp and get closer to Beaupré. During the last two laps of the race, the Yancy and the Wet Spot traded first place many times. The duel came to a conclusion when Stevenson outran Beaupré in the last stretch to the finish line.
Donald Leduc (441 points) reached the top of the standings, 80 points in front of his closest opponent, who was only announced after all the penalties associated with the false starts were calculated. In the end, Bobby King, despite his 8th position in the final, finished in second place with 371 points and the Steve Armstrong-Tom Huganir partnership (F-11 Total Chaos) took the third position, only one point (366-365) in front of Rémy Leblanc (F-99 Vegas).
With the new regulations, Dominic Billette (12th) and Jean-François Latour (14th) will be running in the 2.5 litre class next season, while Karson Kennedy, Leah Hoosick and Guillaume Charette will move up to the Formula 2500 class.
To read the article in the Journal Saint-François: http://www.journalsaint-francois.ca/sports/2015/9/8/bert-henderson-finit-en-beaute.html [French version only]