March 30, 2013

Class 1 - Sanya China Grand Prix

RACE 1
Victory’s Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri made the perfect start to their title defence with a convincing win in race 1 of the Sanya Grand Prix.
The defending Champions had to come from behind after being outgunned at the start by Zabo-Isiklar’s Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski, who led the Victory duo into the first turn to lead by three seconds at the end of the opening lap.
Behind the race leaders the LFFendi10 crew of Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella made the jump on Victory Australia’s Darren Nicholson and Class 1 newcomer Ross Willaton to move up a place from fourth on the start line.
The race outcome hinged on two opposite race strategies, Zabo-Isiklar opting to take their mandatory short-lap early, on lap 2, and a brilliant midrace stint of the 11-lap, 51.51Nm race by the defending World, Middle East and Edox Pole Position Champions, and their decision to go late with their short-lap on 7.
LFFendi10 followed the move by Zabo-Isiklar to get ahead of Victory who suddenly found themselves 27 seconds adrift of the leaders.
Victory immediately began to push and regained second spot on lap 4, with the deficit cut to 12 seconds two laps later. On lap 7 Victory took their short lap to come out well ahead of Zabo-Isiklar and turn the deficit into a 23 seconds advantage.
For the remainder of the race Al Zaffain and Al Marri controlled their pace and the race to run out the comfortable winners by over 40 seconds.
Despite conceding the lead after being out front for over half race distance, Zabo-Isiklar’s Christian Zaborowski was more than pleased with a second podium in as many days.
The fight for the final step on the podium was a bruising encounter between LFFendi10 and Victory Australia for 6 of the 11 laps; the Australians attacked again and again and got to within two seconds of the Italians who defended their podium spot heroically to hang on and take third place.
The Sanya shuffle saw throttleman Giampaolo Montavoci switch back into Poliform to race with Class 1 debutant Salim Al Adidi, and Tomaso Polli step out to take the sticks beside Faleh Al Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi – the two Italians enjoying mixed fortunes.
Montavoci and Al Adidi’s race ended early, with Poliform towed off the course on lap 2 with technical problems, Polli and Al Faleh going the distance and producing a very credible performance to finish in fifth place ahead of another solid outing by Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini in FA.Ro ACCIAI.
There was disappointment for Alfrdeo Amato and Miles Jennings in LFFendi8, retiring on lap 2 and more frustration for Marit Stromoy and Pal Virik Nilsen in Visun Sanya who hit problems before the start and returned to the pits.
SANYA GRAND PRIX - RACE 1 - results1. 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - 33.15,70
2. 91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 00.43,87s
3. 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 01.15.00s
4. 7 Victory Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) + 01.18,00s
5. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / Tomaso Polli (ITA) + 02.39.00
6. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) - 1 lap
7. 8 LFFendi8 - Miles Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) - dnf
8. 74 Poliform - S Al Adidi (UAE) / G Montavoci (SUI) - dnf
9. 86 Visun Sanya - M Stromoy (NOR) / PV Nilsen (NOR) - dns
RACE 2
Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri wrapped up the perfect opening to their season, winning race 2 of the Sanya Grand Prix to add to their wins in qualifying and race 1 to complete their Sanya hat-trick.
But Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski’s hopes of carrying the fight to Victory 3 and adding to their double podium seconds, ended in spectacular fashion when they barrel-rolled Zabo-Isiklar at the first turn.
Both pilots were unhurt but the severity of the damage to the boat became clearer once it had been towed back to the pits.
Zabo-Isiklar’s dramatic exit brought out the red flag and forced a restart, with the race shortened to 14 laps.
The Victory duo again took control from the start and was unchallenged at the front throughout, systematically extending their lead lap-by-lap to eventually run out comfortable winners by 45-seconds to lead the Championship by 16-points.
Victory Australia’s Daren Nicholson and Ross Willaton, and LFFendi10’s Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella picked-up where they left off yesterday, resuming their on water fight.
But this time the Australian duo were able to turn the tables on their Italian rivals, passing them on lap 3 to go on and take their second podium of the weekend.
Italy’s Tomaso Polli rounded off a busy and successful event that started on the wheel of Poliform and ended with two outings on the throttles of Team Abu Dhabi alongside Class 1 rookie, Faleh Al Mansoori.
The scratch pairing produced a more than impressive second outing, going one better than in race 1 to take a very respectable fourth place.
Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini enjoyed a solitary race maintaining fifth place throughout and once again proved their reliability, completing their sixth straight points finish in Fa.Ro. ACCIAI.
Giampaolo Montavoci’s afternoon hit trouble on lap 1, an electrical problem forcing Poliform to a crawl. But the Italian and his rookie driver, Salim Al Adidi stuck with it, Poliform kicked back into life, and they were able to go on and complete the race to finish in the points in fifth.
Newcomers Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato went further than in race 1, but were unimpressed with the first corner hose down by Poliform which all but drowned their engine. The duo stayed out hoping to clear the problem and limped round for eight laps, falling one lap short of the 70% ruling that would have at least given them some well-deserved points.
Marit Stromoy and Pal Virik Nilsen’s already frustrating time in Sanya was compounded when they failed to make the start.
SANYA GRAND PRIX - RACE 2 - results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - 42.36,27
2. 7 Victory Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) + 45,84s
2. 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 01.22.00s
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / Tomaso Polli (ITA) + 01.35.00s
5. 23 Ra.Ro. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) - 1 lap
6. 74 Poliform - S Al Adidi (UAE) / G Montavoci (SUI) - 2 laps
8 LFFendi8 - Miles Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) - 6 laps
86 Visun Sanya - M Stromoy (NOR) / PV Nilsen (NOR) - dns
91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) - dns
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 2
1. 3 Victory Team - 40pts
2= 10 LFFendi10 - 24pts
2= 7 Victory Australia - 24pts
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 16pts
5. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - 15pts
6. 23 FA.RO.ACCIAI - 12pts.
7. 74 Poliform - 5pts