April 25, 2009

Class 1 - Fazza 3 Win One

Victory for Fazza 3 in the opening round of the UIM/WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship was sealed this afternoon by Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi. Second place went to home favourites Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis, with Class 1 debutant Mohammad Al Mehairi and Jean-Marc Sanchez claiming third place in a sun-kissed Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix. The reunited pairing of Al Zafeen and Bin Hendi powered through to a comfortable victory in the end, but they did not have it all their own way. A fantastic start by Qatar 95 saw the Edox Pole Position winner's storm away with the early lead, but engine troubles forced them to retire on lap nine while leading the race. This cleared the way for Fazza 3 to take the first win of the season. With the experience of two world champions in the raceboat, they never looked in doubt of getting the season of to the perfect start. Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis, in Qatar 96, grabbed second place in the team’s home grand prix. Having been happy to just finish on the podium in the run up to the race, the second place will be welcomed by the team although there were mixed reactions as it came at the expense of their team-mates, Qatar 95. The final podium place went to newcomer Al Mehairi and Sanchez. The new pairing were overjoyed with their first race together and the instant success they have achieved. Al Mehairi, had set his sights on a podium finish prior to the race. The early leaders Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Matteo Nicolini had got off to a perfect start and pulled away from the chasing pack only to see all their hard work from the weekend come to a miserable end as an engine failure brought their challenge of claiming a win to a sudden halt. Aurantium, with Giovanni Carpitella and Christian Rivolta racing for the first time together in Class 1, turned their qualifying promise into an excellent performance in the race. They were delighted with their fourth place which sets them up nicely for their home grand prix in Alicante, where the rougher conditions will suit them better. Giorgioffshore also had a good start to the season finishing in fifth. The new pairing of Nicola Giorgi and Riccardo Calugi showed good speed and reliability as they look to build their partnership. Foresti & Suardi - Roscioli Hotels' Giampaolo Montavoci and Francesco Pansini came through in sixth place, despite gearing problems hampering their efforts at the start and end of the race. There was frustration for European Champion Jorn Tandberg and Christian Zaborowski in Welmax 90, the quietly confident Norwegians snapped a prop shaft on lap three and a bitterly disappointing weekend for Maritimo Australia concluded when engine trouble saw Maritimo 11 retire on lap five.
1. Fazza 3 - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) – 59.52.48
2. Qatar 96 - H Al-Thani (QAT) / S Curtis (GBR) + 01.10.27
3. Victory 1 - M Al Mehairi (UAE) / JM Sanchez (FRA) + 01.36.13
4. Aurantium 10 – C Rivolta (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 1 Lap
5. Giorgioffshore 18 – R Calugi (ITA) / N Giorgi (ITA) + 1 Lap
6. Foresti & Suardi - Roscioli Hotels 8 - F Pansini (ITA) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 3 Laps
7. Qatar 95 - A Al-Sulaiti (QAT) / M Nicolini (ITA) – 02.40.68 – DNF
8. Maritimo 11 - T Barry-Cotter (AUS) / PV Nilsen (NOR) – DNF
9. Welmax 90 - C Zaborowski (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) – DNF
10. Maritimo 12 - G Manuzzi (SMR) / P McGrath (NZL) – DNS

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