May 2, 2007

Powerboat P1 - The 2007 Season Starts

The coming weekend will mark the beginning of the U.I.M. Powerboat P1 Championship with 12 races scheduled in 6 different Venues in Europe. The start of this year championship as was in the previous 2 editions starts in the Southern tip of Europe, the Island of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. The most up North Grand Prix, should be the 4Th venue of Cowes in the United Kingdom, which is a classic and legendary spot for Powerboat racing. This is the third time Malta will host the Powerboat P1 Grand Prix. The Island now is becoming a classic in the P1 circuit and Powerboat racing alike, as the island also hosted 3 Grand Prix for the U.I.M. World Class 1 Championship from 1992 to 1994.
The 2 day racing in Malta will feature 2 different courses. Round One Circuit on Saturday will be a 6 laps circuit on the north part of Malta plus a circumnavigation of the Island for the Evolution Class. The Supersport Class will perform the same course minus 1 lap, which is 5 laps and a Circumnavigation. Round Two Circuit on Sunday will be a spectacular all crowd viewing Grand Prix, with the start to be held on Malta's most famous seafront promenade the Sliema Front. The Evolution Class will perform 10 laps for this Grand Prix and Supersport Class will perform 9 laps. This year competition will feature 20 teams, 10 in the Evolution Class and 10 for the Super Sport Class. Famous Motor and Super Yacht builder Sunseeker will compete officially for the first time in the Supersport category. Sunseeker have also signed a deal with Fiat Powertrain Technologies which will supply the power for the Fabio Buzzi designed Sunseeker Challenger with twin 5.9 litre 480 hp turbo diesel engines, for the season. It is worth mentioning that the Sunseeker Challenger is a racing evolution of the XS-2000 production model. The model also competed in the 2006 season but not in official Sunseeker colors. Fountain powerboats from USA will also compete officially but in the more ambitious Evolution Class. May be in the future we will see more renowned official powerboat and motor yacht builders competing in this class, which apart from the usual good promotion an event like this holds, it can also be a superb benchmark for testing materials and hulls to the limits. In the early mid nineties many renowned builders especially from Italy and USA used to compete in U.I.M. Offshore Class 1 Championship and renowned Italian builder Ferretti also managed to win 2 World Class 1 titles in 1994 and 1997 and 2ND runner up in 1995.

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