By Denis Bourbonnais
Andrew Tate chose the perfect moment to get his best results of the season in the Grand Prix class of the Hydroplane Racing League, this past weekend at the Detroit Hydrofest, in Michigan.
The rising star on the hydroplane racing circuit, stole the show in front of his many fans gathered around the Detroit River, as he came out victorious in front of Ken Brodie in an electrifying final. The driver from Walled Lake (Michigan) was starting from the third lane and caught up on the GP-50 Intensity in the last straightaway and get his hand on the Silver Cup at the 100th edition of the Detroit Hydrofest.
Tate was relentlessly going after his opponent for more than three laps aboard the GP-101 Fat Chance Too. At the fourth buoy, in the last turn, as they were standing neack and neck, Ken Brodie lost control for a brief moment. The driver from Grand Island (NY) slid behind the GP-101, as Tate crossed the finish line.
It is a second victory in a Grand Prix final for the 27-year-old, who has moved up to the class last year. Ken Brodie completed the race and stood on the second step of the podium, followed by Greg Hopp (GP-12W Lucas Oil), Marty Wolfe (GP-93 Renegade), Mario Blain (GP-757 Canada Boy), Eric Langevin (GP-12 Long Shot) and Tom Pakradooni (GP-88 Rolling Thunder), who was penalized.
Saturday’s heats were marked by a terrifying accident, as Brandon Kennedy lost control in the west turn and the GP-25 H8 Cancer Racing was hit by Martin Rochon’s GP-77 Coppertone. The latter’s boat flipped over his opponent.
Miraculously, the two drivers were uninjured. However, both hydroplanes were badly damaged and it may compromise their presence in Beauharnois on September 3 and 4, for the last event of the season.
Bad weather late on Saturday forced the remaining races to be postponed to the next day. Heat 2B was therefore restarted on Sunday, but without Bert Henderson’s GP-777 Steeler. The driver from Brockville (Ontario) was penalized for allegedly causing the collision and he and his team decided to leave Detroit in protest.
This weekend’s results give Marty Wolfe a strong lead in the overall standings in the Grand Prix class. The GP-93 Renegade currently has 537 points, followed by Tom Pakradooni (483), Bert Henderson (464), Eric Langevin (463) and Ken Brodie (447). Teams can cumulate up to 100 points at the Régates de Beauharnois, so the championship is still up in the air.
To read the article in the Journal Saint-François: http://www.journalsaint-francois.ca/sports/2016/8/28/andrew-tate-comble-ses-partisans.html [French version only]