December 2, 2008

Class 1 - Mina Seyahi Dubai U.A.E. Preview

The Victory Team will be looking to wrap up their eighth World Championship in the Mina Seyahi Grand Prix in Dubai, the penultimate race of the season on Saturday, 6 December, by bringing both their boats home ahead of their Qatari rivals, who still pose a mathematical but improbable outside threat to their title. Four wins this season for Victory 1 and five podium finishes for Victory 7 have put the Dubai boats respectively 33 and 18 points clear of Qatar 95 and in an almost unassailable position, with the luxury of an in-house fight for the title. Victory 1 is the clear favourite; they lead the World, Middle East and Edox Pole Position Championships comfortably and another win will all but guarantee Al Marri his second World title and Nadir Bin Hendi his first. But the Dubai crew has already seen one title slip through their fingers this year from what seemed an unassailable position. And if Victory 7’s rookie driver Abdullah Al Mehairbi and defending World Champion, Jean-Marc Sanchez, take the win and their team-mates falter or finish outside the top three, the title race will go to the wire and be decided in the Emirates and Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix on Saturday, 13 December. The Qatar Team has one last throw of the dice to try to turn around a season that promised so much but so far has failed to deliver the success that was expected. Their flickering title hopes rest with both Victory outfits breaking and posting only a handful of points, so realistically, they will be fighting each other for third place in the overall Championship standings, with both the Qatar 95 and Qatar 96 crews looking for their first wins of the season. Jotun will be hoping for a return to winning ways in Dubai, with the 2008 European Champions aiming to finish the season as the top European outfit in the overall standings and in the Edox Pole Position Championship. The target for Foresti & Suardi’s Italian-Norwegian pairing, who currently head the middle order, is to continue their season-long run of reliability, complete the season without any technical hitches and to finish as the highest-placed European team in the Middle East Championship. But to do so, first they must fend of the challenge from Negotiator following the Anglo-American pairing's impressive third place in their first outing together in the Egyptian Grand Prix in Porto Marina in October, currently tied with them in fourth place. SeveneleveN will be looking to complete their season of development as they started, by taking their third top-six finish of the year. Domenico Cirilli returns to competitive duties after missing the last race to partner Sergio Carrasco for his first outing in Spirit of Spain, with Giovanni Carpitella switching cockpits to partner Class 1 rookie, Abdelkader Ahmed in Roscioli Hotels Roma. And the 2007/8 Australian Offshore Superboat Champions, Tom Barry-Cotter and Pal Virik Nilsen, make their second appearance of the year in Class 1 and will showcase the newest Class 1 ‘spec’ raceboat, designed and built by Australia’s premiere manufacturer of long-range luxury motoryachts, Maritimo. Eleven boats will line up for the 21-lap, 97.21Nm Mina Seyahi Grand Prix; first official practice takes place on Thursday, 4 December (12.00-14.00) followed by a second session on Friday morning (10.00-11.30) and the Edox Pole Position at 14.30. Final practice is on Saturday morning (10.00-11.00) with the Mina Seyahi Grand Prix starting at 14.30.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 6 of 8
1. Victory 1 – 105pts
2. Victory 7 – 90pts
3. Qatar 95 – 72pts
4. Qatar 96 – 71pts
5. Jotun 90 – 64pts
6. Foresti & Suardi 8 – 50pts
7. Spirit of Spain 88 – 19pts
8. Negotiator 50 – 16pts
9. SeveneleveN 18 – 14pts
10. Qatar 9 – 4pts
11. Roscioli Hotels Roma 60 – 0pts
(Championship points include bonus points allocated to teams for running engines for two consecutive races - one point, per engine, per race)
MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 2 of 4
1. Victory 1 – 40pts
2. Victory 7 – 27pts
3. Qatar 96 – 22pts
4= Foresti & Suardi 8 – 16pts
4= Negotiator 50 – 16pts
6. Qatar 95 – 14pts
7. SeveneleveN 18 – 5pts
8= Jotun 90 – 0pts
8= Roscioli Hotels Roma 60 – 0pts
8= Spirit of Spain 88 – 0pts
1. Victory 1 – 90pts
2. Qatar 96 – 79pts
3. Jotun 90 – 63pts
4. Qatar 95 – 44pts
5. Victory 7 – 37pts
6. Foresti & Suardi 8 – 21pts
7. SeveneleveN 18 – 18pts
8. Negotiator 50 – 12pts
9= Qatar 9 – 5pts
9= Spirit of Spain 88 – 5pts
11. Roscioli Hotels Roma 60 – 2pts

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