1:20pm Thursday 17th May 2012
By Jon Reeve
A PROMISING young racing driver who this year won his biggest battle by defeating cancer is swapping the racetrack for the open seas as he continues his return to full health.
Former Formula 2 champion Dean Stoneman is to return to competitive sport by taking to the water in high-speed powerboat racing for the 2012 season.
The 21-year-old, from Bishop’s Waltham, hopes that competing in the P1 SuperStock UK Championship will help propel him towards his aim of resuming his motorsport career next year.
The race ace was given the devastating cancer diagnosis in January last year, shortly after he had completed his first ever testing session in a Formula 1 car, having won a drive with the Williams team on the back of his 2010 F2 victory, in his rookie year at that level.
As reported, Dean was able to drive an F2 car for the first time in more than a year in March, after successful treatment for a rare and aggressive form of testicular cancer.
But as he recovers from the draining impacts of intense chemotherapy, he has decided to “have some fun” while he regains full fitness.
“We thought it would be great to try our hand in P1,”
said Dean, who is now following in the footsteps of dad Colin, who won the four-litre Powerboat World Championship in 1995.
“I’m hoping to be back in World Series [Formula Renault 3.5] next season but this year is about getting fit and, after a tough year in 2011, just enjoying myself will help my recovery.
“I’m really looking forward to having some fun in these great powerboats.
“Every two months I have to go back for blood tests, I have to be monitored for the next ten years to make sure everything is OK, so we’re taking things steady with the training and just going one step at a time. I’m looking forward to getting out there for the first race. It should be good.”
Dean will make his powerboat debut this weekend in Plymouth, driving one of the P1 Panther 28SS boats from the P1 SuperStock Championship’s headline P1 250 Class and partnered by navigator and close friend Dean Palling.
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