June 13, 2011

Powerboat OGP - Malta Round Two

It was to be a war of attrition as the boats lined up for the second round of the UIM Malta Ocean Grand Prix. With teams battling sweltering heat and rough waters, the result was adrenline-fuelled racing from start to finish in both the Evo and SuperSport classes.
In SuperSport, the FPT-powered Jolly Drive boat of Federico Montanari, Alfredo Zanardo and Giambattista Gabriele took early command, gaining traction off the line and leading their rivals at the first turn. Despite a slow start, fellow Italian’s Karelpiu kept the pressure on, closing the gap to the lead boat. The lead then changed hands five times before Karelpiu forged ahead and the race win looked a formality at the halfway stage. However, this is endurance racing and with the chequered flag almost in sight, driver Giuseppe Schiano di Cola fainted at the wheel, overcome with heat exhaustion. With his Fountain boat at a standstill it opened the door to Jolly Drive to take the win although the Ocean Grand Prix crown was won by Karelpiu who secured victory in yesterday’s race. Di Cola recovered swiftly following attention from medics.
The close fought action continued in the Evo class with Furnibo, piloted by Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaar taking another scintillating win to take the Grand Prix victory. The Belgium team had fought hard with Swedish-American’s Lucas Oil throughout, both boats trading the lead on numerous occasions. The first four laps were nail-biting and a tight finish looked a certainty until Lucas Oils lost power in one engine and were forced to limp home with both pilots, Michael Silfverberg and Nigel Hook’s anxiously looking over their shoulder as the German Searex team closed in.
Despite the Searex-powered Hercules Sagemann boat being hampered by ignition problems before the race – causing the team to start from the back of the field – German’s Douglas Verbanck and Siegfried Greve kept a steady nerve to eventually finish the race in second.
The British boat, Silverline, of Drew Langdon and Miles Jennings was forced to retire on the first lap with a broken torque sensor, a disappointing end to their weekend’s racing.
Attention now turns to rounds 3 and 4 of the UIM Ocean Grand Prix World Endurance Championship, which takes place in Den Helder, Holland over the weekend of 5-7 August.
UIM Malta Ocean Grand Prix (Round 02) PROVISIONAL
Endurance Race Results – Evo Class
Pos. — No. — Boat Name — Nat. — Time — Pts.
1 — 33 — Furnibo — BEL — 00:39:43:80 — 20
2 — 66 — Hercules Sagemann — DEU — 00:41:20:28 — 16
3 — 77 — Lucas Oil — SWE — 00:51:26:42 — 12
4 — 47 — Silverline — GBR — DNF — 0
Endurance Race Results – SuperSport Class
1 — 06 — Jolly Drive — ITA — 00:46:41:45 — 20
2 — 81 — Karelpiu — ITA — 00:46:53:08 — 16
3 — 38 — SIF — ITA — DNS — 0
UIM Ocean Grand Prix World Endurance Championship
Malta Grand Prix Result – Evo Class
Pos. — No. — Boat Name — Nat. — Pts.
1 — 33 — Furnibo — BEL — 40
2 — 77 — Lucas Oil — SWE — 28
3 — 66 — Hercules Sagemann — DEU — 23
4 — 47 — Silverline — GBR — 12
Malta Grand Prix Result – SuperSport Class
1 — 81 — Karelpiu — ITA — 36
2 — 06 — Jolly Drive — ITA — 32
3 — 38 — SIF — ITA — 12