June 17, 2013

Class 1 - Istanbul Turkey Grand Prix

RACE 1
HUB Team Australia’s Darren Nicholson and Ross Willaton produced a spectacular performance in testing conditions to win a dramatic and incident-filled race 1 of the Isiklar Turkish Grand Prix.
Starting just their third race together in their second Grand Prix in Class 1, Nicholson and Willaton mastered the choppy and tricky seas that spectaculary caught out defending World Champions Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri, spinning out early in the race to bring out the red flag and force a re-start.
Turkey’s Ugur Isik and Norway’s Christian Zaborowski repaid their team’s efforts to repair Zabo-Isiklar in time after their crash in race 2 in the season-opener, taking a brilliant second place after initially starting in eighth place, to finish ahead of Class 1 newcomers Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in LFFendi8.
After winning the drag race to the first turn, pole-sitters Al Zaffain and Al Marri led the Australian duo and LFFendi10’s Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella at the end of the start lap, but at the second turn of lap 2 hooked the boat and spinning out.
Luckily the boat suffered little damage and the Championship leaders’ were able to line up for the re-start.
HUB Team Australia led from the re-start and traded places with LFFendi10 and Victory after the intial bout of short laps, resuming the lead on lap 4, only to be passed by Victory a lap later, with LFFendi10 now third.
But on lap 6 Victory hooked and spun out again and stopped, but this time were unable to get one engine re-started, retiring from the race.
The Australians swept into the lead and for the next four laps were able to maintain a comfortable 10-second lead over LFFendi10, when on lap 11 their [Formilli Fendi and Crapitella] hopes of a certain podium ended, a damaged torque sensor ending their race.
Nicholson and Willaton were able to ease up and close out the race in 40mins 2.83s, becoming the first Australians to win since 2002.
Behind the battle at the front, Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski steadily moved up and through the field, moving from eighth to fourth before the red flag. A poor re-start saw them down in fifth, then move up to fourth on lap 6 after passing Team Abu Dhabi and LFFendi8.
The exits of Victory and LFFendi10 elevated the Turkish-Norwegian duo to second place and a well deserved podium.
After a frustrating debut outing in China, Miles Jennigs and Alfredo Amoto produced a more than impressive performance, maintaining a middle order position throughout the race, keeping a hard charging Team Abu Dhabi behind them in the closing stages, to complete the podium.
Despite taking the chequered flag in fourth place, Team Abu Dhabi’s Faleh Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer were later disqualified for re-passing a turn mark after hooking the boat and spinning out, their disqualifaction elevating Class 1 debutant, Tarik Oktem, and Giampaolo Montavoci in Poliform to fourth place ahead of Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini in FA.RO ACCIAI.
Today’s win moves HUB Team Australia’s Nicholson and Willaton to the top of the Championship standings on 44 points, with Victory in second place and Zabo-Isiklar in third.
TURKISH GRAND PRIX – RACE 1- results
1. 7 HUB Team Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) – 40.02.83
2. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 51.45s
3. 8 LFFendi8 - Miles Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) + 02.10.00s
4. 74 Poliform – T Oktem (TUR) / G Montavoci (SUI) + 02.48.00s
5. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 1 lap
- 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) - dnf
- 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - dnf
- 5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dq
RACE 2
Victory's Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri banished all memories of yesterday’s early exit in race 1 and produced an emphatic start-to-finish win in race 2 of the Isiklar Turkish Grand Prix.
The Dubai pairing led from the flag and were pulling away from race 1 winners’ HUB Team Australia and LFFendi10, when the race was red-flagged after Team Abu Dhabi’s Faleh Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer hooked and turned over on lap 2, forcing the second restart of the weekend – both drivers emerging from the upturned boat unhurt.
From the restart the defending Champions were immediately in control. They took their short laps immediately and by mid race had opened up a 20-second lead which they maintained for the remainder of the 16-lap race, going on to take their third win of the season and move back into the Championship lead. “Yesterday was not our day and today was. The target was to be in front all race and we were,” said Al Zaffain. “We had the perfect set-up today and were able to concentrate on what was in front of us and not what was behind us.”
The fight for the remaining podium places was between HUB Team Australia and LFFendi10, and despite a poor restart the battle was won by the Italians Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella as early as lap 5, opening up and maintaining a 10-second lead to the chequered flag. “Nothing broke this time but still we had a problem with the exhaust at the start and initially lost time to seven, but Victory was already gone so we had no chance to try and catch them,” said Carpitella. “We have to resolve this problem before Terracina but it was good to get on the podium after yesterday.”
For yesterday’s victors and briefly the Championship leaders’ there was to be no repeat win, but a second podium puts them in second place just two points behind Victory. “We had hoped it was going to be rougher than that,” said Willaton. “It was my mistake. It looked like it was going to blow up so we went down a gear set, but it wasn’t to be. But all in all we have had a good weekend.”
Behind the front runners a three-way dice ensued between LFFendi8, Poliform and FA.RO.ACCIAI, with Poliform’s Tarik Oktem and Giampaolo Montavoci enjoying a brief spell in the spotlight in third place, then holding fourth before technical problems ended their race on lap nine.
Poliform’s woes allowed LFFendi8’s Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in to move up into fourth spot and round off a good weekend for Fendi Racing, with Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini again able to maintain their consecutive run of points finishes with fifth.
There was disappointment for Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski after yesterday’s podium-second, failing to make the restart with engine problems.
TURKISH GRAND PRIX – RACE 2- results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) – 50.10.19s
2 . 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.22.45s
3. 7 HUB Team Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) + 00.31.67s
4. 8 LFFendi8 - M Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) + 02.25.00s
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 1 lap
- 91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) - dnf
- 74 Poliform – T Oktem (TUR) / G Montavoci (SUI) - dnf
- 5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dnf
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 2
1. 3 Victory Team - 62pts
2. 7 HUB Team Australia - 60pts
3. 10 FFendi10 - 48pts
4. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - 34pts
5. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 30pts
6. 8 LFFendi8 21pts
7. Team Abu Dhabi - 18pts
8. 74 Poliform 14pts 14.