Just moments after Cezary Strumnik qualified in the pole position slot for Heat One of the UIM OSY400 Hydroplane European Championship, he spoke exclusively to me about his future in powerboat racing.
When you can rebuild your engine by hand with your eyes closed, you know it’s time to move on and that’s precisely what Cezary Strumnik will be doing when he packs his equipment away and leaves Nicholas Everitt Park on Sunday evening.
The Polish racer, who has been competing in the OSY400 class for ten years has now decided that he and his team need a fresh challenge. Over the last decade he has finished in the runner-up position to Rasmus Haugasmagi on no less than five occasions, four times in the World Championship and once in the Europeans.
It’s time to finish, I’ve spent long enough in this pursuit of a title.
What can I do to beat Haugasmagi, in the form that he is in this guy is unstoppable?
So where does the thirty-year-old plan to race?
Well to start off I’m going to take a year out of racing, then when everything is in place I want to race in the F500 World Championship.
He understands this will present him with two major challenges. The first being the cost as he’s worked out that racing F500 is four times more expensive than OSY400. The second one being the huge logistical plan he will need to get his head around.
One of the attractions is that the F500 World Championship is made up of two rounds at possibly five or six venues.
This will mean a lot of travelling, so I will need a bigger pool of people I can call on to come racing with me.
With race venues the length and breadth of Europe it will certainly mean that he will be spending more hours on the road, but he thinks it’s worth it.
Look at last years F500 World Championship, every race weekend was won by a different driver and the eventual Champion didn’t even win a race, they didn’t arrive at the venue thinking they had no realistic chance of winning.
The eight times Polish OSY400 Champion is certainly ambitious and wants to progress but sees the ‘Rasmus Effect’ is holding him and perhaps the OSY400 class back when it comes to numbers competing.
The reigning World and European Champion was quick to praise Strumnik though:
We have grown together and since 2013 he’s has come on so much, I will miss him.
Chris Davies ARPS, has been photographing and writing about powerboat racing since 1987.