Powerboat P1’s successful 2008 season opening Italian Grand Prix of the Sea in San Benedetto del Tronto in Italy may still be fresh in the mind for the sport’s fans, but most of the teams are now much more focused for the coming weekend upcoming Marseille Grand Prix. The city authorities and the Federation Francaise Motonautique and the Motor Yacht Club de la Cote D’Azur have been busy preparing for the event in recent days. But given the amount of technical teething problems that teams in the Evolution and SuperSport class seemed to suffer in the opening Endurance and Sprint races of the year in Italy, we’re hearing that there have been plenty of furrowed brows, as engineers and mechanics try to fix the glitches. We should expect plenty of late-night ‘bags under the eyes’ as teams arrive in Marseille.
In the Evolution class, the 77 Lucas Oil team seemed to have the most trouble-free weekend, as indicated by their healthy lead at the top of the standings. But they’ll be looking to see where they can catch the 99 Fountain Worldwide boat, who were clearly quickest on the water, and would have been leading the way into France had it not been for their provisional 100-point penalty. The rest of the field, particularly leading teams like the 10 Fantastic 1 Cigarette Racing Team Europe outfit, the 88 Kiton Outerlimits OSG Racing squad and the 69 Honeyparty.com crew, will be keen to solve the problems that blighted their Italian weekend so they can come back fighting in France. In the SuperSport class things are proving so closely contested that everyone will be looking to gain that crucial advantage that will allow them to move ahead of their rivals. The 07 VoomVoom.com team, the 44 Conam Yachts crew and the 59 Saho Offshore Rana’s outfit lead the way in the incredibly tight points race, but the 38 Baia High Performance boat, the 11 Sunseeker Challenger team, 47 Silverline Buzzi Bullet crew and 08 Phoenix 8 squad are all perfectly poised to make big headway in the title fight if they can find the magic mix, or if one of the leading teams suffers a technical problem in France.www.powerboatp1.com