Photo: (Left)Matthew Palfreyman
Last weekend (1st & 2nd August) saw Matthew Palfreyman, 23, of Aughton, Lancashire compete in the second round of the 2015 Formula 2 Powerboating World Championships in Tonsberg, Norway.
Eighteen drivers from seven countries took part in the Norwegian boat festival spectacular and after finishing in third position in his first ever Formula 2 World championship event, three weeks prior in Brindisi, Italy, the pressure was on Matthew to perform.
After multiple problems, damaging a propellor, engine trim pump issues and loosing a bolt which secures the engine to the boat to name a few, Matthew managed to secure the 8th fastest time in free practice, ahead of qualifying, which is split into three sessions, in which you have to qualify to get through to the next round in hope of being number one on the start grid for the 30 minute Grand Prix. Matthew made it through sessions one and two by the skin of his teeth in order to go through to the final session, where he claimed 9th position in a ten boat shoot out.
The mood was low, Matthew was disappointed in himself, worried he had let everyone down, but his team had faith in him and his driving ability, and tried to lift his spirits.
Sunday brought thunder, lightning and heavy rain which saw the race postponed by an hour, allowing nerves to peak. By 16:00 the sun was shining and 18 boats were launched and lined up on the calm Norwegian waters, which were about to be torn apart. Three minutes of silence in the count down to lights out was shattered by the roar of the engines echoing around the oldest city in Norway. Charging to the first turn Matthew gained three positions and spent a lot of his race in 6th place around the tight and technical course at approximately 120mph. But gaining on his competitors second by second he took multiple opportunities to overtake, suddenly putting him into 3rd place.
Just when it was looking like a repeat of round one, Matthew stormed up behind Erik Edin of Sweden to take his second place position, behind winner Pierre Lundin.
After the race Matthew had this to say: “Well Done to Pierre, thank you to my team, who have worked tirelessly problem after problem, and I’m glad I can put it on the podium for them.”
Matthew is now second place overall in the championship standings heading in to his next race, Campione d’italia in Switzerland at the end of August, where fight to become the 2015 Formula 2 World Champion will continue.
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