With an all-new livery and several newly machined components, Team WNT F2 and driver Steve Hoult is all set to defend the British Formula 2 Powerboat championship which they won in 2015. In addition to challenging for British honours, the team will also be ‘testing the water’ with entries in the European and World championships during the course of 2016.
Development in any form of sport is vital and Team WNT F2 has not rested over the winter with several new components being machined at WNT (UK) and a complete change of livery to mark the start of the 2016 British F2 Powerboat Championship. “Reducing weight was one of our key objectives over the winter and with the help of WNT and in particular Project Sales Engineer, Tony Gale, we have made significant inroads with new parts weighing considerably less than the originals. The new livery was also a revelation as when we stripped off the old paint, we found nine coats, and our spray painter estimated that this weighed 9 kgs, needless to say only one coat went back on,” says Steve Hoult.
The most recent component development was the redesign and manufacture of steering pulleys. Using a variety of WNT tools, including the Ultramini, Polydrill and Ecocut systems and the XYZ machines at WNT’s Sheffield Technical Centre, Tony Gale has come up with pulleys that are just 25 per cent of the weight of the original parts. This is the third generation of these pulleys, the second generation cut the weight by 50 per cent and a similar saving, taking them from the original 1 kg each to .25 kg, was achieved through novel design and machining techniques. These latest components add to a list of parts re-designed and machined by WNT (UK) to significantly reduce weight and increase performance of the Team’s F2 powerboat.
The team took to the water on Oulton Broad on the 1st May for the first round of the season and following a major crash in race one, the team bounced back, with the help of other competitors to score solid championship points in the next two heats. With a further six rounds at locations around the country taking place throughout the summer the team is confident of challenging for the championship once again. Once the British Championship has been completed Team WNT F2 will turn its attention to European and World challenges. In September it will take part in the UIM F2 European Championship races being held on the familiar waters of Stewartby Lake in Bedfordshire. Then in October the entire team will travel to Portugal to compete in the UIM F2 World Championship round at Ribadouro, on the outskirts of Lisbon.
“Our main focus, is of course, to meet the challenge of retaining our British title, until we see what our competitors have been doing over the winter we will not be certain how we have developed. However, we are confident that the changes we have made to our boat will keep us at the front of the pack. The European and World Championship races will also provide a fantastic end-of-season benchmark for us and throw in more options for the 2017 season if we prove to be competitive at those levels,” says Steve Hoult.