|First overall win for Brett Stuart|
|Written by Paul Bedford|
|Sunday, 05 April 2009 17:55|
Brett Stuart lined up on the grid for the first heat of the uMhlatuze / Pace Plan F1 Powerboat Grand Prix in second place but that was the only time he was not in the lead for the rest of the day. He claimed victory in all three heats and with it his first overall win.
Saturday’s time trial was brought to a premature end when Steven Zungu barrel rolled his boat after setting a time that would have put him in third on the grid. Unfortunately there was too much damage to his boat and, despite the best efforts of his crew, he didn’t make it to the start of the first heat. Paul Shepard set the fastest time on Saturday afternoon just 0.14 seconds ahead of Stuart. Elzane de Jager was fourth with Andre Kemp Jnr and Terri Mitchell in fifth and sixth respectively.
Stuart’s flag-to-flag wins meant that all the action took place behind him. In the first heat, despite having a motor that was not developing full power, Paul Shepard took second ahead of Andre Kemp Jnr and Terri Mitchell. Robert Shepard, who also had engine problems, ended in fifth place.
In the second heat Paul Shepard was again second, this time ahead of Elzane de Jager. Andre Kemp Jnr provided the drama in the heat when he put a hole in his boat and sank while running in fourth place. Steven Zungu, back on the water after a great deal of hard work by his pit crew, ended the heat fourth with Terri Mitchell and Robert Shepard in fifth and sixth respectively.
In the final heat it was Elzane de Jager who tucked in behind Stuart and, despite pushing as hard as she could, had to settle for second. Paul Shepard followed her home in third with Darren Beattie, in his first heat of the day in fourth. Terri Mitchell and Robert Shepard were again fifth and sixth.
Overall Paul Shepard ended up in second place behind Brett Stuart. Elzane de Jager minimized the damage to her championship chase with third place ahead of Terri Mitchell and Robert Shepard. Andre Kemp Jnr claimed sixth overall.
With two events left in the 2008/9 South African F1 Powerboat Series Paul Shepard still tops the championship log with 114 points. Elzane de Jager 21 points behind him in second. Brett Stuarts win moves him up to third on 84, six ahead of Robert Shepard. Steven Zungu and Darren Beattie are separated by just one point in fifth and sixth.