December 8, 2010

Class 1 - Dubai Preview

With the 2010 UIM Class 1 World title already decided, teams now turn their attentions on the Edox Pole Position and Middle East Championships in the final qualifying session and two races of the season at this weekend's Emirates/Dubai Duty Free Dubai Grand Prix. Welmax's Kolbjorn Selmer and Jorn Tandberg will be looking to end their season on a high as they bid to become the first ever all-Norwegian pairing to win the Pole Position Championship and the first Norwegians to win a major trophy since Tandberg's European title success in 2008. They go into the final qualifying session of the year in an almost unassailable position with a 15-point lead over World Champions Fazza, knowing sixth place will give them the title. But 'playing it safe' is not written in the Selmer-Tandberg racing manual, with the Norwegians likely to maintain their flamboyant, marauding style as they go after a fifth consecutive win in qualifying and their first 'recorded' race win of the year. Having already secured the 2010 UIM Class 1 World and European Championships, Fazza's Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi now focus their attentions on trying to successfully defend their Middle East title. But to do so they will have to come from behind and overhaul rivals and neighbours Team Abu Dhabi who, after two of four races, lead the Middle East title race by a slender four points. The Fazza pairing has dominated this season, their seven race wins moving them onto 19 career wins a piece, to climb above multiple World Champions Saeed Al Tayer, Ali Nasser and Khalfan Harib to become the most successful partnership in the history of the Victory Team. With the news from Victory Team that they have very sportingly thrown their resources behind helping to repair Negotiator - their main rival in the fight for the runners-up slot in the World Championship - and by doing so confirm that Skydive Dubai, the boat that collided with Negotiator, will not race - the battle for the remaining podium place in the overall World Championship standings looks to be a two-way fight between four Italians. Negotiator's Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella grabbed third place on their debut outing together in race 1 in Abu Dhabi and currently hold third spot, 16 points adrift of Skydive Dubai. Assuming their boat is repaired and ready to race, they should be able to defend their 26-point advantage over Guido Cappellini and Giampaolo Montavoci in GSG Ceramic Design, and look the most likely of the two outfits to finish in the top three, and possibly steal second place from Skydive Dubai. Cappellini and Montavoci, podium finishers in the season-opener in Brazil, will be looking to erase the memory of a torrid and frustrating last Grand Prix beset by technical issues and will be looking to get back on track in Dubai. Whilst a top three finish in the World standings, to add to his second place in the Europeans, would be a remarkable achievement by Carpitella in a season that has seen him team-up with four drivers in two different boats. Zabo Racing go into the last Grand Prix of the season full of confidence and looking to build on their last performance after it all came good for the team in Abu Dhabi. A solid qualifying session and fourth place in race 1 was eclipsed by a simply brilliant drive in race 2 by Paul Gaiser and Christian Zaborowski in Relekta, which gave the Norwegian outfit their first podium of the year, putting them third overall in the Middle East standings. Fresh from their famous first win together in race 1 of the their home Grand Prix, Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Tayer and American race-ace John Tomlinson will be determined to end their season with a flourish and a title. Since teaming-up in Italy they have developed a formidable partnership and will look to cut out the costly errors that lost them podium places in Italy and Abu Dhabi, as they defend their slender lead in the Middle East Championship. After a promising first outing for GiorgiOffshore's Nicola Giorgio with Sandro Sardelli, picking up valuable points in both races in Abu Dhabi, a last minute change of driver sees Tomaso Polli return to partner Giorgi for the second time this season. Mohammed Al Marri and Giorgio Manuzzi enjoyed an eventful first race weekend together in the new Victory design, Victory 2010, grabbing a podium in race 1 and then spectacularly crashing out at the start of race 2 in Abu Dhabi. With the boat fully repaired the Italian-Emirati duo are likely to be up at the front challenging for podium places, but will now run in the colours of the sidelined Skydive Dubai. The action starts with first practice on Thursday afternoon, a second practice on Friday morning is immediately followed by qualifying in the Edox Pole Position and Race 1 - 51.07Nm, 12 laps including one long lap.Ā A final practice on Saturday morning is followed by Race 2 - 68.56Nm, 16 laps, including two long laps.
UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 5 of 6, race 10 of 12
1. Fazza - 172pts
2. Skydive Dubai - 114pts
3. Negotiator - 98pts
4. GSG Ceramic Design - 72pts
5. Welmax - 56pts
6. Relekta - 43pts
7. Team Abu Dhabi - 42pts
8. GiorgiOffshore - 38pts
9. Victory 2010 - 15pts
10. Foresti & Suardi - SCAM - 11pts
11. Welmax Alianza - 10pts
MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 1 of 2, race 2 of 4
1. Team Abu Dhabi - 29pts
2. Fazza - 25pts
3. Relekta - 21pts
4= Victory 2010 - 15pts
4= Welmax - 15pts
6. GiorgiOffshore - 14pts
7. Negotiator - 12pts
8. Skydive Dubai - 4pts
9. GSG Ceramic Design - 0pts
1. Welmax - 95pts
2. Fazza - 80pts
3. Skydive Dubai - 42pts
4. Negotiator - 35pts
5. Team Abu Dhabi - 24pts
6. Relekta - 23pts
7. GSG Ceramic Design - 19pts
8. GiorgiOffshore - 15pts
9. Victory 2010 - 9pts
10. Welmax Alianza - 7pts
11. Foresti & Suardi SCAM - 5pts

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