Fazza completed the double by claiming their fifth win of the season in race 1 of the Class 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after qualifying in Pole Position earlier in the day. Team-mates Victory 1 finished in second place ahead of Sea Dubai-C.A.M. giving Class 1 debutant Ahmed Al Hameli and Giovanni Carpitella their first Class 1 podiums.
Leading from start-to-finish, Fazza blew away their rivals to finish more than 25 seconds ahead of Victory 1. The win see’s Fazza move ahead of their team-mates by just one point in the World Championship standings.
Despite an impressive start for Victory 1, moving up from fourth to second by the first turn, they were unable to match the blistering pace of Fazza, but claimed their sixth podium of the season, finishing second.
Class 1 debutant Al Hameli and Carpitella, Sea Dubai-C.A.M., claimed an outstanding third place. Making the most of the rough conditions on the start run, they reached the first mark alongside the leaders. They fell behind Maritimo after both had run their initial long-laps but moved back into third when Maritimo stopped on lap 5. On the last four laps they had to withstand a determined charge from Welmax, who were closing the gap with each lap, to claim a thoroughly deserved podium place.
A supercharger failure ended Maritimo 11 race early, having just moved up into third place. The stoppage frustrated the pair as this was the second race in a row that an engine problem forced them to retire when running in a podium position. Welmax put a slow start behind them to take fourth place, less than three seconds off the podium and see’s them move into third place in the World Championship standings. The performance was the all the more impressive by the all-Norwegian crew after a miscommunication had seen them run three long-laps, as opposed to the mandatory two.
A wretched race for Giorgioffshore, after qualifying in an impressive third place, saw them finish fifth. A trim problem on the start run in the rough water outside the island prevented them from staying with the leaders at the start and then a fuel pump problem prevented them from hitting top speed, losing up to five seconds a lap.
Foresti & Suardi – Roscioli Hotels came in sixth place to maintain the consistency of finishing all races this season in the points and maintain their fifth place in the championship. There was also frustration for Victory 7 when a fuel problem ended their race on lap nine when running in third place.
Fazza completed the hat-trick by winning race 2 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, to add to their Pole Position and race wins yesterday. Their sixth win of the season came after a frenetic start which saw all boats except Maritimo handed a penalty long-lap for jumping the start. For the third race in succession Victory 1 had to settle for second place behind their team-mates, after a tight battle with Welmax who finished third. Fazza Bin Hendi and Al Zafeen, who have now won seven out of nine races since being paired together at the beginning of the 2008 season, did not have the race all their own way and a coming together on the start run with Victory 1 could have ended their race before it had started. Despite this collision they turned the first corner in the lead and then were able to use their superior speed to pull away, completing the 15 lap course in 41mins 47.60secs, to take the win and extend their World Championship lead to eight points.
Victory 1, who started the weekend at the top of the World Championship standings, just could not live with the pace of the race winners. After the impact with Fazza they found themselves in third place and behind Victory 7 at the first mark. But Victory 7’s gearing problems on the final corner of the first lap, allowed them to pass them, but they were unable to make any impression on Fazza, and had to settle for second place.
A sensational corner at the end of the first lap saw Welmax move up from fifth place to third, overtaking Victory 7 and Sea Dubai-C.A.M in the process. A dramatic hook on the very same corner, a lap later, could have prematurely ended the race for the all-Norwegian pairing, but an exceptional piece of driving by Selmer, prevented that disaster. Having had a frustrating day yesterday the Norwegians were determined to push for second place, setting the fastest two laps of the afternoon, but after feeling a vibration during lap 11 throttleman Tandberg backed off to ensure that they completed the race and claimed a comfortable third place, finishing nearly 34 seconds ahead of Sea Dubai-C.A.M.
A fantastic start for Victory 7 saw them turn the first corner in second place, but the brilliant start came at a cost as they were forced to retire after only one lap due to gearing problems.
Giorgioffshore were also forced into an early retirement, when their transmission failed on lap three. Maritimo will be keen to put this weekend behind too, after another supercharger failure saw them limp around the course on one engine for four laps, before they finally called it a day.
A radio mix-up saw Sea Dubai-C.A.M. take five long-laps as opposed to the mandatory three and one penalty long-lap. In spite of this they were still able to claim a commendable fourth place, making it a fine weekend for the new pairing, who took their maiden podiums in Friday’s race, and move up from eighth to sixth place in the World Championship standings.
Foresti & Suardi – Roscioli Hotels maintained their fifth place in the World Championship standings on 53 points, by claiming fifth place. After the confusion at the start, they found themselves briefly challenging front runners, but lost out as they got caught up in their wake.
The Championship now heads to Dubai for the season finale, 10-12 December, and with both Fazza and Victory 1 in unassailable points positions, the Victory Team has already secured a remarkable ninth Class 1 World title.
The fight for the Class 1 World title is now a straight head-to-head battle between Fazza and Victory 1, with only eight points separating them and two races on their home waters remaining. ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX – race 1
1. Fazza 3 - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) - 00.31.15,20
2. Victory 1 - M Al Mehairi (UAE) / JM Sanchez (FRA) + 00.25,78
3. Sea Dubai - C.A.M. - A Al Hameli (UAE) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.58,17
4. Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) + 01.01,05
5. Giorgioffshore - C Zaborowski (NOR) / N Giorgi (ITA) + 01.25,01
6. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels - R Lo Piano (ITA) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 1 lap
7. Victory 7 - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) + 3 laps
8. Maritimo 11 - T Barry-Cotter (AUS) / PV Nilsen (NOR) - DNF
ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX – race 2
1. Fazza - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) - 41.47,60
2. Victory 1 - M Al Mehairi (UAE) / JM Sanchez (FRA) + 00.13,18
3. Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) + 00.26,86
4. Sea Dubai-C.A.M. – A Al Hameli (UAE) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 01.00,69
5. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels - R Lo Piano (ITA) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 4 laps
Maritimo 11 - T Barry-Cotter (AUS) / PV Nilsen (NOR) - DNF
Giorgioffshore - C Zaborowski (NOR) / N Giorgi (ITA) - DNF
Victory 7 - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - DNF
CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 5 of 6
1. Fazza - 133pts
2. Victory 1 - 125pts
3. Welmax - 76pts
4. Maritimo 11 - 56pts
5. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels - 53pts
6. Sea Dubai-C.A.M - 44pts
7. Giorgioffshore - 43pts
8. Victory 7 - 38pts
9. Qatar 96 - 15pts
10. Maritimo 12 - 12pts
11. Qatar 95 - 4pts
(World Championship points include bonus points allocated to teams for running engines for two consecutive races - one point, per engine, per race)
CLASS 1 MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 2 of 3
1. Fazza - 60pts
2. Victory 1 - 42pts
3. Sea Dubai-C.A.M. - 30pts
4. Welmax - 21pts
5. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels - 17pts
6. Qatar 96 - 15pts
7. Giorgioffshore - 14pts
8. Victory 7 - 4pts
9= Maritimo 11 0pts
9= Maritimo 12 - 0pts
9= Qatar 95 - 0pts