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King Drives Steeler GP-777 To Victory On Niagara River

Jimmy King receives congratulations after taking Grand Prix honors on Niagara River. (Journal Saint-Francois Photo)

By Denis Bourbonnais Journal Saint-François

For the first time ever Jimmy King got the victory for the GP-777 Steeler team on the Niagara River while Brandon Kennedy, in Hydro 350, John Shaw (Formula 2500), Dominic Demers (2.5L) and Tom Pakradooni (Jersey) Speed Skiff) dominated the other classes in the finals at the North Tonawanda Regatta on Sunday, a suburb of Buffalo, NY

In the ultimate Grand Prix event, veteran Jimmy King led the crucial first lap and the race from start to finish to win his second final of the season aboard the Steeler. This triumph allowed the Memphis (Michigan) driver to increase his lead in the championship, 33 points ahead of Brandon Kennedy’s “Team H8 Cancer” GP-25.

Local favorite Ken Brodie II of Grand Island, NY, took second place in the GP-50 Intensity, while Brandon Kennedy was slowed down after spinning out in the first turn, then rallied to secure third place.

Douglas Rapp finished 4th in the Bad Influence GP-79 and Mike Monahan was forced to retire with the GP-35 TM Special. Donny Allen saw his weekend come to an end on Saturday with the “Hearn Motorsports” GP-14 and the “Hot Tamale” GP-43 has not yet been able to take a start.

Brandon Kennedy was more successful in the Hydro 350 class and he took the honors of the final at the helm of the “Penzoil” H-300. A substitute for the regular driver, Andrew Tate, the driver from Bear, Delaware beat the “Legacy 1” H-14 driven by Donny Allen by more than 4 seconds at the finish line.

  Kent Henderson (Team Toban H-777), Dylan Runne (Pleasure Seeker H-12), Nicolas Rousse ( H-799), Yannick Leger (Super Nova H-21), Eric McKenna (The Black Beast H-999 ) and Michael Tremblay (Last Minute Again H-8 owned by Ogdensburg's Bill Vielhauer) followed in order. 

Léger and Tremblay managed to qualify through the consolation finals. Martin Rochon made a barrel roll in the 3rd qualifying round in the “RTX Racing” H-773 but was not injured.

Formula 2500 class resulted in a first for John Shaw in the Hydroplane Racing League (HRL). The resident of Centerville (Maryland) won the finals in the “Keen’s Sunday Money” F-33, owned from Doug Martin. Shaw received the checkered flag nearly 8 seconds before Scott Liddycoart aboard the “SLR” F-63.

Campivallensian Marc Lalonde, who won Saturday in qualifying at the wheel of the “Lalo Racing” F-751, completed the podium of the F-2500 class. Bobby King (F-92) finished 4th, followed by consolation winner Tyler Kaddatz (F-519), Steve Armstrong (F-69) and Tommy Shannon (F-4). Max Acierno was disqualified for accumulating two penalties in the “Miss Jesel” F-3.

In the 2.5-liter race, Dominic Demers made the events in Valleyfield go away as he drove the S-44 “Wave Dancer” to victory in the decisive race. Demers finished nearly 8 seconds ahead of Yves Villeneuve (S-6) while Richard Wilhelm (S-404) was third. Maxime Lemieux (S-912) had his best result since driving in the HRL with a 4th position. Owen Henderson (S-16) was relegated to 5th place with a penalty while Jeff Dobis, flying Ryan Slate’s “Lone Ranger” S-49, and Alex Tremblay (S-29) had to stop on the racecourse.

Tom Pakradooni swept the Jersey Speed Skiff class aboard the Rolling Thunder JS-7, winning the final ahead of Dave Greenlaw (JS-99), Louis-Alexandre Beaudoin (JS-30) and Mike Hendrickson (JS-61). Brandon Kennedy stuffed the “JS-14” and got out ok  with his navigator, Mason McClure. Samuel Tremblay could not finish the race in the “Denis’ Dream” JS-48.

The next Hydroplane Racing League event will be held in Detroit, Michigan on August 24-25, where the Grand Prix, Hydro 350, and Jersey Speed Skiff classes will be on the schedule.

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