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March saw an earlier than usual start to the season as pilots and navigators from Europe and the US, as well as two Indian stars from the world of motorsport, assembled in Mumbai for the inaugural P1 SuperStock World Championship.
Befitting of the occasion, the amazing course in Mumbai’s splendid, sweeping bay was the first powerboat event to feature 6,500 buoys that gave the track an inside and outside barrier like a motor racing circuit, rather than the usual turn buoys.
For the first time in SuperStock history, the one-design P1 Panther race boats were split into eight teams of two boats, with the overall title going to four racers instead of the usual two crew members.
Racing for Baleno RS Boosterjets were the reigning UK champions Sam and Daisy Coleman who recorded victories in all three races to take the World Championship title alongside teammates CS Santosh and Martin Robinson.
The Lloyd Dolphins were consistent over the weekend as the crews of Stuart and Sara Cureton and Craig Wilson and William Enriquez took second from the Money on Mobile Marlins teams of James Norvill and Charlie Parsons-Young and brothers Glynn and Lee Norvall.
Perhaps the most spectacular moment of the World Championship event was the flip from Mirchi Mavericks duo John Donnelly and Vin Burdock on the final turn of race two. Thankfully both were unharmed, but they were unable to see out the rest of the race weekend.
The UK Championship kicked off in an unlikely venue – Aalborg, Denmark – as the SuperStock series debuted in Europe. Platinum Products dominated the heat-based format and were victorious, taking full points from the Grand Prix of the Sea weekend.
However, 2016 champions Pertemps Network fought back in Greenock to take victory on the Clyde and with it a lead in the championship, whilst Milford Waterfront duo Andrew Foster and Charles Morris landed their first ever podium finish.
The news that the fourth and final round in Scarborough was cancelled, together with the absence of the Platinum Products boat in Milford Haven, made things more comfortable for Pertemps Network in Wales, although they were pushed right to the very end by Milford Waterfront who overnight had the title in their own hands after winning three straight races on the Saturday.
It would be the Coleman’s third straight title in two years.
Stateside, the season got underway in St Cloud, Kissimmee as Southeastern Lighting Solutions, piloted by Walt Cox and Jamie Canter on their return to the championship, took the honours.
Team Barbados, once again competing on both sides of the pond, took victory in Jacksonville with consistent performances, whilst the spoils went to Frank Silva and Tony Iannotta of Frank and Al’s Racing in the next round at St Pete Beach.
Spectre, led by veteran racer Craig Wilson, were not to be written off despite a slow start to the season, taking all three races in Sarasota, leaving the title wide open with the finale in Islamorada still to come.
Wilson once again put his experience to good use doing all he could to snatch the title from Frank and Al’s Racing with victory in the Florida Keys. However, the points would end tied on 299 after five rounds and with the deciding factor being the number of laps completed across the season it was Frank and Al’s Racing who claimed their first ever championship title.
2017 P1 SuperStock World Championship: Baleno RS Boosterjets – Sam Coleman, Daisy Coleman, CS Santosh, Martin Robinson
2017 P1 SuperStock UK Championship: Pertemps Network – Sam Coleman, Daisy Coleman
2017 P1 SuperStock USA Championship: Frank & Al’s Racing – Frank Silva, Tony Iannotta