By Denis Bourbonnais
2016 marks the return of a respected champion on the North-American motorboat circuit, as Pierre Maheu comes back as a Grand Prix class driver. The athlete from Saint-Michel, in Napierville, will co-drive the GP-50 Intensity with Ken Brodie II, from Grand Island (NY).
A three-time season champion between 2008 and 2011, Maheu will sit in the Henderson-made hull for the Canadian portion of the new Hydroplane Racing League’s 2016 calendar. Brodie will race through the American leg of the HRL circuit. For the 78th edition of the Régates de Valleyfield, the American will drive the GP-50 during the Friday heats, while Maheu will take his place inside the boat for the Saturday and Sunday races.
“I am extremely excited to be back on the HRL circuit. I have to thank Ken Brodie and his team for putting their trust in me”, said Pierre Maheu, who was crowned Grand Prix champion of the 2008 and 2011 editions of the Régates de Valleyfield. Known for his fighting spirit, courage and strong-mindedness, he triumphantly returned in 2010 after a serious accident, from which he sustained multiple fractures the year before.
Maheu once again surprised everyone in 2011 when he won a third championship with a new hull. The experts had wrongfully criticized him for not riding the same boat that had brought him his previous successes.
Ken Brodie II cited personal reasons to justify his decision. “Hydroplane racing has been my number one priority for the past 23 years. As I am approaching my 50th birthday, I decided to re-equilibrate my life. My children will soon graduate and I do not want to miss out on some important moments. With Pierre’s addition to the team, I can have the best of both worlds. I can take a few weekends off and my team can count on a first class driver”, he explained.
His father, Ken Brodie Sr. will still look over the team and attend every HRL events, as will each member of the GP-50 Intensity team.
“The return of Pierre Maheu is great news for the HRL. He is one of the best drivers on water and is always available for his partners and the fans. His professionalism and charisma have always been appreciated”, said the HRL General Manager, Michel Poirier.
To read the article in the Journal Saint-François: http://www.journalsaint-francois.ca/sports/2016/5/13/le-retour-d-un-grand-champion0.html [French version only]