Team Abu Dhabi's Giovanni Carpitella and Rashed Al Tayer celebrated their maiden Grand Prix win in a dramatic and incident-filled first race of the Swedish Grand Prix, which saw the race red-flagged twice, with pole-sitters Welmax crashing out on lap 1 and both Relekta and Fazza going-out on lap 1 of the re-start. A third start saw a reduced fleet take the green flag, with Team Abu Dhabi, winning the drag-race to the now infamous first turn buoy, ahead of Skydive Dubai and Primatist. Carpitella and Al Tayer, in their first race together, were able to control the race from the front, to complete the reduced 9-lap race in 21mins 47.98secs at an average speed of 178.35kmh to win by eight seconds. A podium for Skydive Dubai's new pairing of Abdullah Al Mehairbi and Talib Al Sayed, in their first competitive outing in a Class 1 together, was some consolation for them and the team, after seeing their team-mates sidelined on the second restart, with Guido Cappellini and Nicola Giorgi capitalising on the earlier incidents to take a welcome podium spot in third place in Primatist. For pole-sitters and pre-race favourites, Jorn Tandberg and Kolbjorn Selmer, any hopes of converting their win in the Edox Pole Position earlier in the day into a race-win, ended dramatically at the first corner of lap 1, crashing out of the Swedish Grand Prix after taking evasive action to avoid Fazza, with both pilots emerging unscathed from the escape hatch of the upturned Welmax.
The restart saw Team Abu Dhabi lead into the first corner with Relekta's Christian Zaborowski and Paul Gaiser going into the turn in second place after another impressive start, only to hook the boat right into the path of the oncoming World Champions, Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi, who drove into and over the back of the stricken raceboat, launching Fazza skywards. Both teams now face a race against time through the night to see if there is any chance of getting both boats to the start-line for tomorrow's race.
Fazza's Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi put yesterday's race-retirement behind them to ease to a comfortable win in race 2 of the Swedish Grand Prix. Rashed Al Tayer and Giovanni Carpitella capped an impressive weekend for Team Abu Dhabi, finishing second, to make it a hat-trick of podium successes in Uddevalla, with Abdullah Al Mehairbi and Talib Al Sayed in Skydive Dubai completing the podium and make it an all U.A.E. affair. The World Champions took no time in bouncing-back from their hair-raising collision with Relekta in race 1 that launched Fazza skywards and put Relekta out of today's race, winnng the three-boat U.A.E. drag race to the first turn, the scene of yesterday's carnage. Once out in front Al Zafeen and Bin Hendi never looked threatened, going on to complete the 16 laps in 39mins 19.29secs at an average speed of 178.99kmh to win by over 20 seconds. Despite today's second place, to compliment a third place in the Edox Pole Position and a first Class 1 win for Rashed Al Tayer and Giovanni Carpitella, the Team Abu Dhabi throttleman was not happy with his rivals on the run to the first turn. Skydive Dubai's Abdullah Al Mehairbi and Talib Al Sayed celebrated their new partnership in Class 1, taking their second podium of the weekend - with Al Sayed giving a masterful solo rendition of the U.A.E. national anthem on the podium when the sound system failed, which was greeted by cheers and rapturous applause from the crowd. A second, consecutive points-haul for Italians Guido Cappellini and Nicola Giorgi, finishing fourth in Primatist, puts them into fourth place in the Championship standings, as they look ahead to their home Grand Prix in October.
But there was bitter frustration for Jorn Tandberg, Kolbjorn Selmer and the Welmax technicians when the boat narrowly failed to make the start, despite their night-long efforts to repair and have the boat ready to race after yesterday's first corner crash. Today's 17th career-win for Al Zafeen and Bin Hendi puts them within one win of the Victory Team record of 18, shared by former multiple Champions, Saeed Al Tayer and Ali Nasser, and also puts the World Champions 22-points clear of their team-mates at the top of the overall Championship standings. Class 1 now heads to Stresa on Lake Maggiore for the Italian Grand Prix and the European Championship decider in October, and what promises to be an interesting showdown between the new team on the block, Team Abu Dhabi, who lead the European points table by two-points from the current World Champions, Fazza.
Update: Team Abu Dhabi will walk away with maximum points from this weekend’s Swedish Grand Prix, after today’s race winners’, Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Nendi, were handed a post-race time penalty for an overtaking infringement on the start-lap. The 27.62secs long-lap time penalty added to the World Champions overall race time gives Rashed Al Tayer and Giovanni Carpitella a second Grand Prix win in two days, and on the weekend that marked the team’s full time entry into the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. Victory Team general manager, Gianfranco Venturelli, confirmed that the team has lodged a protest against the penalty.
SWEDISH GRAND PRIX, RACE 1 - results
1. Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / G Carpitella (ITA) 00.21.47,98
2. Skydive Dubai - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / T Al Sayed (UAE) + 00.07,81
3. Primatist - G Cappellini (ITA) / N Giorgi (ITA) + 1 LAP
Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) dnf
Relekta - P Gaiser (BRA) / C Zaborowski (NOR) dnf
Fazza - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) dnf SWEDISH GRAND PRIX, RACE 2 - results
1. Fazza - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) 00.39.19,29 (+ 00.00.27,62)*
2. Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.20,99
3. Skydive Dubai - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / T Al Sayed (UAE) + 00.40,41
4. Primatist - G Cappellini (ITA) / N Giorgi (ITA) + 1 LAP
Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) dns
Relekta - P Gaiser (BRA) / C Zaborowski (NOR) dns
UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 3, race 6 of 12
1. Fazza - 103pts
2. Skydive Dubai - 86pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi - 71pts
4. Primatist - 46pts
5. Welmax - 31pts
6= Foresti & Suardi - SCAM - 11pts
6= Relekta - 11pts
8. Welmax Alianza - 10pts (Championship points include bonus points allocated to teams for running engines for two consecutive Grand Prix)
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 2, race 4 of 6
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 2, race 4 of 6
1. Team Abu Dhabi - 67pts
2. Fazza - 55pts
3. Skydive Dubai - 48pts
4. Primatist - 21pts
5. Welmax - 15pts
6. Relekta - 7pts