This weekend (17/18 June) sees the popular F4 Powerboat Series kick off in style at the opening round of the 2017UIM F4 World Championships in Imatra, Finland. The infamous ‘Vuoski Race’ will once more play host to a round of the championship following an extremely successful event they held back in 2016 along with the World GT15 Championship Class for Juniors.
After a long winter break, teams from 9 different nations will descend on the picturesque venue in Imatra to battle it out and gain as many points in possible to get their season off to a strong start with 2 days of consecutive racing offering 2 lots of valuable championship points.
The Finnish teams look to form the largest number of entries from the 9 nations and 2016 World & European Champion Juho-Matti Manninen, along with his new team-mate Magnus Sederholm will be looking to start the season off with a strong performance with their Lonnberg built & designed boats. They have been busy in the last few weeks testing and perfecting their set-up’s and we are told, will be welcoming a new guest driver to the Motor-Mix team this season.
Fellow fin Lauri Landen of Landen Racing is also looking to up his game this year after upgrading his previous boat that was over 25 years old, to a ‘gen2 Molgaard’ and early testing results have indicated that he is most definitely on the pace. Tukka Lehtonnen has also made some big changes to his set-up this year after purchasing a new Italian ‘Baba’ hull and will be looking to make his mark early on in the competition.
A new driver to F4 this year is world GT30 Champion Sander Sarlin from Estonia who will be racing for the Erko Aabrams Racing team and keen to gain as much experience in F4 as possible. Also following Sander from GT30 into F4 this year will be Poland’s Marcin Szymczyk who has been training hard in the class to perfect his set-up after purchasing a new boat.
The British contenders for the championship opening round will be Ben Morse, who after finishing 3rd in the 2016 European F4 Championship and currently dominating the British F4 Championship, will be one to look out for in the results after months of practicing at his home circuit. He will be joined by fellow Brits Sam Whittle in his new Baba hull and Ben Jelf in his first full year of International F4 racing. All will be keen to secure podium finishes.
F4 World Championship ‘regulars’ such as Sweden’s Morgan Jernfast with his continued support from sponsors Veidec Racing, Denmark’s Sebastian Haugaard and Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs will also be returning for the 2017 championship and will be going all-out to improve on last years results and keep the new rookies firmly below them on the points table.
It’s going to be an epic battle and we cant wait to see who will have lady luck on their side in Finland this weekend. One thing is for sure, we can expect some highs, lows, some thrills and hopefully not too many spills in Finland this weekend as the championship gets underway.
F4 World Championship Dates 2017 :
Imatra – Finland – 17th & 18th June
Stewartby – Great Britain – 1st & 2nd July
Kupsikis – Lithuania – 19th & 20th August
F4 European Championship date 2017 – Rendsberg – Germany – 9th & 10th September