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Focus On… Jack Pickles – TopCat Racing GT30

So Jack’s dreams of scoring his first ever National podium came true last weekend. Some of the closest racing of the weekend came from the GT30 class, and Jack found himself frequently embattled with Thomas Mantripp.

Jack’s boat clearly has the pace to mix it up towards the front of the field, and at Chasewater Jack showed that he has the racecraft to match. His lines were good, and he held his own. If anyone wanted to pass him, Jack was going to make them work for it, and Jack also put together a couple of beautifully times moves to pass people on his was to third overall.

Cannock_20160717_54826Jack’s dad tells me he has a “Breakfast of champions”… In less than two weeks we will all be heading to Stewartby for the one-off Sprint Championship weekend. Will Jack continue his charge towards the front?

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Focus On… Jack Pickles – TopCat Racing GT30

A couple of days ago, Jack told me he wanted to score his first podium this weekend. He moved a step closer to that goal with his performance today, in fact you could say three steps closer, as the GT30’s had their qualifying and first two heats today, leaving only one race for them tomorrow.

With a great effort in qualifying, Jack managed to claim third on the grid behind Ben and Tiegen, and managed to keep his position through race one. Heat 2 looked like it was going to be a different story though. As the lights went out and the boats took off from the start pontoon, Jack’s boat remained there for several seconds before he managed to get it going. What followed was, in Jack’s own words, “The best race I’ve ever done.” Over the first two laps, Jack managed to chase down and pass Nigel and Tony, and then the task was to reel in Thomas.

Watching from the timing tent, I could see the gap closing, them, right in front of the crowded pit area, Jack made his move. Coming in to the final turn, Jack positioned his boat perfectly, giving himself a run up the inside and the best line into the first corner.

Cannock_20160716_53457“I promised myself I’d keep going straight this weekend. If anyone wanted to pass me, they’d have to work for it,” he told me after the race. “Once I had passed Thomas, I just tried to keep my lines as tight as possible so as not to give him any chances.”

Cannock_20160716_53528So that’s two thirds for Jack so far at the Cannock GP, and he’s well on his way to his target. What can he do today? Why not come along and see for yourselves?

Focus On… Jack Pickles – TopCat Racing GT30

Day one of the Cannock GP is here and driver’s briefing has just ended. I grabbed a quick word with Jack whilst his boat was being scrutineered. 

He’s really excited for today, and looking forward to hopefully making up list ground from the start of the season. There’s a moderate breeze blowing across the water, whipping up a few waves which Jack feels will help his cause – he feels confident on rough water.

In a little over 20 minutes, Jack and his fellow GT30 competitors will take to the water for the first of this weekend’s qualifying sessions and I feel an air of confidence from every driver I’ve spoken to so far. This one, is going to be good. 

Focus On… Jack Pickles – TopCat Racing GT30

Kingsbury_20160703_51603The first of this weekend’s “Focus On” features will be following young GT30 racer, Jack Pickles. Jack has been on the scene for a couple of years now and has established himself as a hard but fair competitor. I caught up with Jack earlier this week to get his take on the season so far.

Kingsbury_20160703_50784“The Nationals this season have been a great learning curve for me, experiencing a new class and seeing how differently the boat handles. They haven’t really gone as planned though, as we got a DNF at Lowestoft, got docked a lap at Carr Mill, and then missed a turnbuoy at Kingsbury. We’re hoping to score all the points we can at Chasewater and hopefully gain our first podium.”

Jack will be competing in this weekend’s round of the RYA Powerboat GP GT30 Championship at Chasewater, WS8 7NL. Come and see the action for yourselves, and don’t forget to say hi if you see Jack or any other drivers during your visit!

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