May 5, 2010

Powerboat GPS - 2010 Season Preview

Only a couple days away from the start of the 2010 UIM Poweboat P1 Championship, and we go again with a new revised calendar which is still not in its official form. As it was hinted in a previous article the Malta Grand Prix has been moved to September, and more Grand Prix of the seas settings should be added. A Belgium race is being hinted a lot, as is one in Sweden, and in North Italy. None the less a minimum five Grand Prix races should be made for 2010 and considering that a month ago the season was actually cancelled this is good news.
The list of teams is the positive starting news for the 2010 year seeing again an upgrade versus the 2009 season which had a seven boats line up in each of the two classes. This year we are back again to good numbers which are closer to the record participants seen in 2008 with nine in Evolution, and seven in Super Super Class so far confirmed in the first race. Some teams are missing from the first Grand Prix line up so we should see more racers gathering in both the Super Sport and Evolution classes in the upcoming races. Considering a month ago we had no races at all, this is all but a very positive feedback.
EVOLUTION CLASS
The top performing no limit Evolution Class will see old and new competitors, and for the 43 foot Outerlimits 88 OSG Racing Team to hold its title will be a very hard task. My favorites for this year title starts with the very promising new boat / power package 77 Lucas Oil Scandinavian Offshore Challenge, followed by title holders 88 Outerlimits which has a drivers line up which looks more like a Real Madrid football team, and the Belgian 33 Furnibo 2B1 Fountain race boat which showed promising qualities towards the end of last year season. The wildcards are the diesel powered 60 Metamarine Foresti Sguardi, 53 Pignolo Team Lamborghini Racing, and the new 55 Ukranian Spirit team which are the 2009 Supersport Champions. Ukrainian Spirit choose again a new Chaudron design and will be interesting to see how the three time Supersport Champion builder will handle the pressure of the more demanding Evolution class. Other challenger would have been the Italian Cigarette Team which so far looks missing in the first race.
SUPERSPORT CLASS
Giving a preview for this class looks easy but actually is more difficult then ever. On first thoughts the 38 feet Chief powered Donzi 26 Team 26 should be the favorite showing how well they performed in 2009, and only reliability issues in five races actually stopped them from taking the championship. Team 26 also re-rigged their boat during the autumn winter break. Other favorites are the 2009 title winner 41 feet Chaudron 43 Ukrainian Spirit, and the other 38 Donzi second placed in 2009 38 Baia Attolini. The wild cards in my book are the 17 Spirit of Belgium with the new Nor-Tech 423 who shown promising results with the old boat towards the end of the 2009 season. In this class there is also two new teams both from Italy; 06 Jolly Drive Racing Team, and 81 RG87 Racing Team. More teams should join and the new Pantera 41 for 8 Phoenix TV which changes from a Formula 38, and the two times 2007-2008 Super Sport Class Racing Project Chaudron 41 which has been re-rigged for 2010 should complete the circle in this class. Both these teams should also not be taken lightly.
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