April 15, 2011

Class 1 - Abu Dhadi Grand Prix 2011

Race 1
Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi made the perfect start to the defence of their World title, winning race 1 of a dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw Relekta crash out on lap 4 and the race red-flagged.
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis marked their return to Class 1 bringing Spirit of Qatar 96 home in second place, with Fendi Racing's Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella completing the podium.
Al Zafeen and Bin Hendi made a strong start passing pole-sitters Team Abu Dhabi to lead at the end of lap 1, with Spirit of Qatar 95 in third ahead of their teammates, Fendi Racing and Relekta.
By the end of lap 3 the Dubai pairing had opened up a comfortable 15-second lead over their country rivals. Spirit of Qatar 96 moved into third and Relekta's Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski were up to fourth place.
But their race ended in spectacular fashion half-a-lap later when they rolled Relekta to bring out the red flag, ending what had been an impressive race weekend debut for the new pairing.
From the restart Al Zafeen and Bin Hendi made no mistake, immediately opening up a lead and going on to take a 22nd career victory and win a reduced nine lap, race 1 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by 16 seconds.
Team Abu Dhabi's hopes of adding a podium to their win in the morning's qualifying ended when they took their long lap and were passed by both Spirit of Qatar 96 and Fendi Racing, both oufits taking their long laps before the red flag was raised.
After the frustration of qualifying down in seventh place, Sheikh Hassan was more than satisfied with second place.
For Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella it was a repeat podium success of their Class 1 debut together in Abu Dhabi last year.
Spirit of Qatar 95 were unable to reproduce the pace that put them third quickest in qualifying, finishing in fifth place ahead of Poliform and Parsonage Racing.
There was frustration for MITI's Nicola Giorgi and Tomaso Polli, stopping on lap 6, with Welmax enduring what wheel-man Selmer described as a 'crankshaft nightmare', failing to make the start but getting out for the restart just to test the boat.
ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, RACE 1 - results
1. 3 Victory Team - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) 00.47.20,67
2. 96 Spirit of Qatar - H Al Thani (QAT) / S Curtis (ENG) + 00.16,18
3. 10 Fendi Racing - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.21,15
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / J Tomlinson (USA) + 00.26,56
5. 95 Spirit of Qatar - A Al Neama (QAT) / M Nicolini (ITA) + 00.37,23
6. 74 Poliform - G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 01.44,43
7. 50 Parsonage Racing - G Manuzzi (SMR) / P Virik Nilsen (NOR) + 2 laps
8. 18 MITI - N Giorgi (ITA) / T Polli (ITA) + 3 laps
90 Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) dnf
91 Relekta - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) dnf
Race 2
Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi produced an emphatic performance to make it two wins out of two, storming to victory in race 2 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Second and third places on the podium went to Spirit of Qatar 96 and 95, with Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis taking their second race-podium of the weekend, leading home Ali Al Neama and Matteo Nicolini.
It was a clinical demonstration by the World Champions, but they were made to work hard and had to come from behind to take their 23rd race win.
The long start-run on the outside of Lulu Island strung the boats out as they battled the rough conditions and it was Spirit of Qatar 96 who grabbed the advantage and edged ahead of Victory to lead at the first turn, with Fendi Racing in third.
The lead trio held position for four laps when Victory went on their long lap. A lap later Spirit of Qatar took theirs and Victory moved ahead, overturning a 17- second deficit to lead the race.
The Emirati duo then eased away, going on to win by over 43 seconds and will leave Abu Dhabi with a ten-point lead in the championship standings.
This afternoon's double podium finish completed a highly successful weekend for the Spirit of Qatar Team. Spirit of Qatar 95 produced one of the best performances of the afternoon, moving up from fifth place at the start to give Ali Al Neama a first race-podium on his Grand Prix debut.
A steering problem during the race put paid to any hopes of a second podium finish for Fendi Racing's Luca Fendi and Giovanni Capitella, who slipped to fifth after running in third place for four laps, before being overhauled by both Spirit of Qatar 95 and Team Abu Dhabi.
Guido Cappellini and Giampaolo Montavoci managed a second sixth place finish of the weekend in Poliform, ahead of Parsonage Racing and Welmax, with Relekta completing the race to pick up points after yesterday's crash, ahead of Nicola Giorgi and Tomaso Polli in MITI.
ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, RACE 2 - results
1. 3 Victory Team - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) 00.37.57,89
2. 96 Spirit of Qatar - H Al Thani (QAT) / S Curtis (ENG) + 00.43,48
3. 95 Spirit of Qatar - A Al Neama (QAT) / M Nicolini (ITA) + 00.50,89
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / J Tomlinson (USA) + 01.05,07
5. 10 Fendi Racing - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 01.37,89
6. 74 Poliform - G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 02.34,73
7. 50 Parsonage Racing - G Manuzzi (SMR) / P Virik Nilsen (NOR) + 1 lap
8. 90 Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) + 1 lap
9. 91 Relekta - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 1 lap
10. 18 MITI - N Giorgi (ITA) / T Polli (ITA) + 3 laps
UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 2
1. 3 Victory Team - 40pts
2. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 30pts
3= 10 Fendi Racing - 19pts
3= 95 Spirit of Qatar - 19pts
5. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 18pts
6. 74 Poliform - 10pts
7. 50 Parsonage Racing - 8pts
8. 18 MITI - 4pts
9. 90 Welmax - 3pts
10. 91 Relekta - 2pts
MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 2
1. 3 Victory Team - 40pts
2. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 30pts
3= 10 Fendi Racing - 19pts
3= 95 Spirit of Qatar - 19pts
5. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 18pts
6. 74 Poliform - 10pts
7. 50 Parsonage Racing - 8pts
8. 18 MITI - 4pts
9. 90 Welmax - 3pts
10. 91 Relekta - 2pts