Jon Jones - Fast On Water 2017

Search
Go to content

Main menu:

Jon Jones

Circuit > Hall of Fame
Born: 09.03.57
Started racing: 1974
Retired: ?
 
1979 - World Sprint Champion, T2; runner-up in National Championships, T2
1980 - National Champion, T2
1982 - 3rd in National Champonships, Formula Grand Prix ON.
1983 - 4th overall in Rolatruc National Grand Prix Series.
1984 - 4th overall in Rolatruc National Grand Prix Series; 4th overall Formula Grand Prix World Series.
1985 - 2nd Overall in Formula Grand Prix World Series.
1986 - Winner formula Grand Prix World Series.
1989 - Winner formula Grand Prix World Series.
1991 - Formula 1 World Champion.
1993 - 3rd in Formula 1 World Championship.
1994 - 2nd in Formula 1 World Championship.
1996 - 3rd in Formula 1 World Championship.
1998 - Formula 1 World Champion.
Bristol 1987
Jon with his Gold Leaf sponsored Burgess rig
Jon in his monohull days. Bristol 1981
The following article from BBC Wales – online 15.11.09
 
Jonathan Jones
Four times Formula One powerboating world champion
 
Jonathan Jones was born and brought up in Cardigan. Now married with three children, he still lives in the town despite the regular globe-trotting which has come in the wake of his success as one of the world's top powerboat competitors. As a child, Jonathan  used to watch Cardigan's annual speed boat races. He was given his first opportunity to try the sport for himself when he was 15 in a 12-foot boat with a 25 horsepower engine. After a few races, he was hooked.
 
In 1979 he won his first big race - the Formula Four world championship at Bristol Dock. He took the British title in 1981 before moving up into Formula One. In 1985, at the age of 22, he became F1 world champion - a title he was to win a further three times in 1989, 1991 and 1998.
 
His 1991 victory was won against the odds. He'd been involved in a horrific crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix, suffering a compound leg fracture, which prevented him from competing in several of the championship rounds. He underwent an operation to insert a metal plate, running from his knee to his ankle and held in with 18 pins. Despite his injury, he was determined to compete and in the final grand prix at Singapore three months later, he took the championship by a single point from the German competitor Michael Werner.
 
Like motor racing, powerboating today is a sophisticated, high-tech sport. Jonathan's catamaran speedboat has some 400 horsepower, is capable of more than 150 mph and can rocket from 0-60 in under two seconds. But unlike motor racing, powerboating gets little coverage in the media and the prize money is minimal. When he's not competing or training, Jonathan works in a bank in Fishguard.
 
Moment of Glory:
Winning the 1991 World Championship for the third time in 1991 despite a serious injury in the early stages.
 
In 1997, Welsh Motoring Writers switched from land to water in awarding the Tom Pryce Trophy to powerboat racer Jonathan Jones at a special evening at Pale Hall, Bala, North Wales.
 
The prestigious Trophy was awarded in recognition of Jonathan’s outstanding achievements over the years in the premier Formula 1 class of powerboat racing. He has won the world title three times (in 1986, 1989 and 1991 ) and come second, third  and fourth several times. With two wins in 1997 he finished the Championship in fourth place.
 
The Group also considered him to have been an excellent ambassador for Wales. Like Formula 1 motor racing this is a high-tech sport using state-of-the-art equipment including a telemetry system. And powerboat racing demands a similar level of skill, courage and dedication. In fact with a 2-stroke engine developing 400 bhp, Jonathan’s speedboat catamaran accelerates to 60 mph in under 2 seconds and pulls cornering G forces over double that of Fl cars. Top speed is 140 mph – quite something on water.
 
At the presentation dinner Jonathan was having animated technical discussions with Richard Parry-Jones, Ford Vice President of product development. Who knows, as a result future Ford cars could well handle ever better in the wet! A few weeks after the dinner, Jonathan crashed at Abu Dhabi in the last race of the 1997 season. Despite wrecking the boat in a spectacular corkscrew accident, he was fortunately uninjured but to add a sad note to the year-end, came the news that his sponsor, Gold Leaf, were withdrawing from the sport in 1998.
Undeterred, Jonathan is building new boats to contest the 1998 season. We wish him well in an exciting sport that disappointingly receives scant coverage by the UK media.
 
*The Tom Pryce Trophy commemorates Wales’ greatest racing driver who was tragically killed in a freak accident in the 1977 South Africa Grand Prix.
 
 
Back to content | Back to main menu