2018 Season Preview
Looking ahead to the 2018 multi season, we have a lot to look forward to. There are the iMBRA League races in Gonzaga, Stuttgart, Haarlem and Hannover, plus a potential 2nd international in Holland at a new venue. The highlight of the season is of course the 2018 iMBRA World Championships in Egletons, France starting at the end of July where we have a strong MPBA team with every chance of being in the medals.
Also running throughout the season is the MPBA National Drivers Championship with a new (Old) venue at Bridlington which should be exciting for the 15 and 27cc boats being let’s say ‘Rather Compact’ as lakes go..
So who’s going to win what? To win the MPBA UK National Drivers Championship you need to attend all the races and be consistent. It’s no good being the fastest boat on the water if you have reliability issues. In F1, Keke Rosberg (Father of Nico) famously only won one race in his championship winning season in 1982 with Williams, but he racked up a lot of points with consistent finishing. This could be the year of the underdog, with many of the top racers wary of damage or breakages leading up to the world championships
3.5cc – 2017 champion Mark Wraight
In the 3.5cc class, 2017 iMBRA European Champion Zack Humphries is untouchable, but the NDC is not his priority – He has eyes on bigger prizes at international level. 2017 3.5 NDC winner Mark Wraight is both fast and reliable, but he is also in the world championships team which may open the door for others if he doesn’t attend all the races. Alongside Mark, we would consider Dave Hole, Geoff Parmenter and Andrew Aykroyd in with a shout and we haven’t yet seen the best of Ian Folksons Ikarus. We’d probably make Dave the favourite but Andrew can win it if he goes to most of the meetings. Battle for the King of Speed will probably be fought out between Dave Marles and Dave Pillman, but we suspect neither of them will do enough events to win the title and those last few km/h of speed usually come at the expense of occasional reliability issues. Keith Burgess also has great speed but has been thwarted by reliability in recent seasons.
7.5cc – 2017 champion Mick Szebeko
The 7.5 should be interesting this season as we have another top racer in Andrew Aykroyd joining the class. Gary Wraight will be looking to return to the podium with his 8 Ball after extensive modifications. Gary will be determined to make 2018 a success after scuppering his chances of the 2017 title by attempting major changes mid-season only for it to backfire spectacularly. Everyone is looking forward to the first glimpse of 2014 World Champion Martin Fields new self-designed 7.5. Martin will be hoping the new boat is as good or better than his superb Pegasus Evo that he sold after the GB International win. Martin will no doubt putting most effort into the internationals so he’s not really a UK title contender. In no particular order, we would say that Mick Szebeko, Gary Wraight and Andrew Aykroyd are the front runners. Julian and Ross Waumsley are also strong in 7.5 and Julian’s average of 26 points per race would have been enough to take the title last year had he competed in every event. Ross may be looking for some wins to make up for the disappointment of missing the eliminators having contracted a serious infection in 2017 which almost cost him his leg.Dave Pillmans new Pegasus Evo may give everyone a fright (Video), but will he do enough races?
15cc – 2017 champion Terry Holmes
The best 15cc boat in the UK is Phill Fields Tornado T7, but like other top racers he will be considering potential damage in a world championship year so Mark Wraight will be looking to put right the disappointment of missing out on an 8th title in 2017. Facebook users will have seen the progress of his all-new Seljak design 15cc boat. We will shortly bring you a build masterclass of this boat. However, we hear he may have to contend with James Taylor who is rumoured to be returning to the 15cc class with a new Tornado T7. James is arguably (With Zack) the best driver in the UK, so Mark will have his hands full if James gets his boat built. James/Mark 2017 champion Terry Holmes will also be a strong contender as he only had one DNF all season last year on his way to the title. 2015/2016 champion Sam Lincoln would normally be considered one of the favourites, but is almost certainly focused on the world championships. We would also back Mikey Hillstead if he can keep the consistency he showed in the latter part of 2017.
27cc – 2017 champion James Taylor
27cc is a straight fight between Ian Folkson and James Taylor in our eyes. Or CMB vs Tiger King! James average 35 points per race in last years championship was simply phenomenal and if he carries that form into 2018 he will be unstoppable. The other contenders would be Steve Baxter and Mick Pain who is ultra reliable, but not on the pace of Ian, James and Steve. All 4 are qualified for the world championships, so this may let in Terry Holmes.