December 22, 2012

Class 1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

RACE 1
Dubai’s Victory Team is celebrating a remarkable twelfth World Championship success after a convincing win in race 1 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by Arif Al Zafeen and Mohammed Al Marri.
The Victory duo seemed unfazed after finding themselves in third place after the start and played a waiting game, coming from behind to take their sixth win of the season to seal a fifth World title for Al Zafeen and a third for Al Marri.
Today’s win also secures a sixth Middle East Championship for Victory after dropping just eight points in five starts, with Al Zafeen winning both titles for the last four years.
Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella raced to their third podium of the year bringing LFFendi10 home in second place, with Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath, running under the Victory Australia banner, producing yet another outstanding performance to make it three podiums from five outings in their short end of season stint in Class 1, finishing third.
From the green flag Al Zafeen and Al Marri watched as the Italian duo in LFFendi10 came from sixth place on the line and raced into a comfortable lead on the rough 2Nm start run outside Lulu Island to lead by five seconds at the end of lap1.
Nicholson and McGrath were up into second ahead of their adopted teammates Victory, with Guido Cappellini and Giampaolo Montavoci in Spirit of Gabon-Poliform in fourth and Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in fifth.
LFFendi10 extended their lead after opting to run their two mandatory short laps immediately, to open up a 17 second gap but now over Spirit of Gabon-Poliform and Zabo-Isiklar who also went for the short laps early.
But by the end of lap 5 with all boats having run their short laps, Victory hit the front to lead by 9 seconds with LFFendi10 second and Victory Australia third.
The leading trio remained line astern for the remaining 5 laps with Al Zafeen and Al Marri running out the comfortable winners by 34 seconds. “It was always our plan to take it easy at the start and not to take any risks,” said Arif Al Zafeen after his 29th career win.
A third podium in six outings since they switched into their Victory hull has now moved Fendi and Carpitella up into third place in the overall Championship standings, with Luca Formilli Fendi understandably pleased with the result.
Nicholson and McGrath’s short time on the tour just gets better and better, the Australian-New Zealand pairing now boasting two race podiums and one from yesterday’s qualifying.
Team Abu Dhabi’s hopes of a podium finish on home waters disappeared after dropping a place at the start, but Al Tayer and Al Mansoori regained the place on lap five to finish in fourth and secure the runners-up slot in the World and Middle East Championship standings.
Spirit of Gabon-Poliform and Zabo-Isiklar battled it out in the latter stages and enjoyed a six lap tussle for fifth and six spots, Cappellini and Montavoci winning the duel to finish in front by just four seconds, with both FARO ACCIAI and Subseapilot going the distance and picking up valuable points.
ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, RACE 1 – Results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) 00.29.49,34
2. 10 Fendi Racing - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.34,39
3. 7 Victory Team of Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / P Mc Grath (NZL) + 00.38,39
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / M Al Mansoori (UAE) + 00.52,72
5. 74 Poliform - G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 01.25,00
6. 91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 01.29,00
7. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 1 LAP
8. 8 Subseapilot - Y Bratland (NOR) / B Jacobsen (NOR) + 1 LAP
RACE 2
Arif Al Zafeen and Mohammed Al Marri completed their Abu Dhabi Grand Prix treble after cruising to a comfortable Victory in race 2.
Today’s win, their seventh of the season, ends a near perfect season for the Champions, claiming top spot in the World, Middle East and Edox Pole Position Championships.
Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella maintained their impressive run of form to finish on the podium for the second time in two days bringing LFFendi10 home in second place, with Zabo-Isiklar’s Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski ending their season on a high with a well-deserved first podium of the year and clinching fourth place in the Championship.
The newly crowned Champions were in a league of their own and took the initiative from the start and led the race from flag to finish and at no time came under any pressure.
By mid-race Al Zafeen and Al Marri had eased out to a 30 second lead and were in cruise control and able to back off in the closing stages to win the 14 lap, 70.17Nm race by 12 seconds.
Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella completed their hat-trick of race podiums to round off a very strong second half the year, but had to hold off a strong challenge from Zabo-Isiklar in the closing stages.
Zabo Racing’s habit of ending their seasons on the podium continued, with Isik and Zaborowski’s strategy of taking their second short lap late paying dividends, moving them up from sixth place at the end of lap six into third spot a lap later.
For the remainder of the race they piled the pressure on and chased down LFFendi10 closing the gap too under five seconds.
For the first Grand Prix this season Team Abu Dhabi missed out on a podium finish, with Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori again finishing in fourth.
Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini did not have the pace to run with the others but did have the reliability, ending a positive weekend for the team picking up their best result of the year finishing in fifth spot.
There was disappointment for Victory Team Australia’s Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath who were running in second place when their race came to an abrupt end after a broken torque sensor forced them to stop on lap seven.
Subseapilot lasted just two laps with Yngve Bratland and Bjorge Jacobsen returning to the pits with an engine problem, Poliform-Spirit of Gabon’s Guido Cappellini and Giampaolo Montavoci following them in on lap 10, also with an engine issue.
ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, RACE 2 – Results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) 00.42.31,12
2. 10 Fendi Racing - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.11,71
3. 91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 00.16,97
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / M Al Mansoori (UAE) + 00.24,16
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 03.10,71
6. 74 Poliform - G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (ITA) dnf
7. 7 Victory Team of Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / P Mc Grath (NZL) dnf
8. 8 Subseapilot - Y Bratland (NOR) / B Jacobsen (NOR) dnf
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 8
1. 3 Victory Team - 177pts
2. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 127pts
3. 10 Fendi Racing - 87pts
4. 91 Zabo Isiklar - 63pts
5. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 53pts
6. 95 Spirit of Qatar - 45pts
7. 7 Victory Team of Australia - 37pts
8. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 34pts
9. 74 Spirit of Gabon - Poliform - 22pts
10. 8 Subseapilot - 7pts
11. 90 Welmax - 5pts
12. 9 Welmax - 0pts
MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 6
1. 3 Victory Team - 112pts
2. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 75pts
3. 10 Fendi Racing - 52pts
4= 91 Zabo Isiklar - 33pts
4= 7 Victory Team of Australia - 33pts
6. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 32pts
7. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 23pts
8. 95 Spirit of Qatar - 9pts
9. 74 Spirit of Gabon - Poliform - 7pts
10. 8 Subseapilot - 3pts
11. 90 Welmax - 0pts
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