October 18, 2014

Class One - Vee One - Italy Grand Prix Race One

Victory and Bernico-New Star took race 1 honours in a dramatic and incident-filled first race at the Grand Prix of Italy, which was stopped after a first corner spin-out by Tommy One after the start lap, forcing officials to bring out the red flag.
Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi were in control of the race, leading the C1 boats onto the second lap ahead of LFF10 and Team Abu Dhabi when the race was called to a halt.
Bernico-New Star, Chaudron and Aquasport were the first V1s to cross the start-finish line and were through turn one when Maurizio Schepici and Stefano Bonanno hooked and span out forcing Karelpiu’s Federico Montanari and Antonio Schiano to try to take evasive action but they were unable to avoid a coming together and damaging their drives, both boats unable to continue.
There was more drama before the restart with Championship leader’s Aaron Chiantar and Dominique Martini pulling off the course and limping back to the pits, a broken turbo charger belt ending their race, a broken propeller on lap 1 ending Germany’s Siegfried Greve and Udo Gross’ race.
From the restart pole-sitters Victory again resumed complete control and were never put under any pressure, moving 15 second clear of LFF10 by lap 5, going on to win comfortably by 27 seconds to seal an eighth European Championship for the Dubai based team. “It was comfortable for us from start to finish,” said Nadir Bin Hendi. “We didn’t need to push too much and made sure we took it easy to save the engines for tomorrow. There is more to come, whatever the conditions tomorrow.”
Local favourites Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella in LFF10 were able to fend off the threat from Team Abu Dhabi but maintained P2, apart for a brief spell when they and the front runners took their long laps conceding the place to teammates Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato who went on to finish fifth, to grab their first podium of the year, but the race was far from easy for the all-Italian duo. “It was a nightmare race for me and Luca,” said Carpitella. “We had a big fuel leak from the start and the fumes inside the cockpit were unbelievable. My eyes were stinging, it was hard to see, breathe and at times keep conscious. Then we lost instruments, no trim indicators no RPM so we just focussed on getting to the finish line.”
Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson produced just the comeback result Team Abu Dhabi was hoping for producing an impressive performance to take third place, a third podium for Tomlinson with the team and a first on his C1 debut for Ballough. “We’re happy with that, glad we brought it home and in good shape,” said Tomlinson. “It was a good fair race with Fendi, they left us room when we needed it. Now we have to work on one or two things to pick up the pace for tomorrow.”
Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski were unable to repeat the podium success they saw in Ibiza, bringing Relekta-Zabo-Isiklar home in fourth, and there was disappointment for New Star-Poliform’s Guido Cappellini and Mikhail Kitashev, retiring immediately after the restart.
With the top three boats in V1 side-lined before the restart, the Championship race had been blown wide open and Bernico-New Star, Silverline and Aquasport capitalised on it and produced a brilliant race, the trio swapping places throughout.
Aquasport’s Daniel Cramphorn and Nico Huyben’s led from the restart but were overhauled by Nico Bertels and Frank Hemelaer in Bernico-New Star on lap 3 and a lap later by Silverline’s Ian Blacker and Drew Langdon.
The leaders then raced side-by side for the next two laps with Silverline piling on the pressure and passing the race leader on lap 5, but two laps later Bernico New-Star came again and made the decisive pass going on to take a brilliant win by 2.86 seconds to move to the top of the Championship standings. “We are back in the title race and after all the trouble we’ve had this is a great result and I have to thank all my team,” said a delighted Nico Bertels. “You know it’s races like this when a couple of teams really start to push each other that you get great racing and the feeling after is unbelievable.”
Despite missing out on the top step, Drew Langdon was more than happy to pick up a second podium in two races. “It was a great race but they got the last bite of the cherry,” he said. “They could out turn us and were awesome in the corners. We had a trouble free run and we know these guys, you can race close without any problems. We got them a few times, but not at the right time, but hats off to them.”
Third place for Aquasport was their best result this season and puts them back in the title race. “We still have some gremlins to iron out, but happy with the result but of course would have loved to have hung on to the lead,” said Daniel Cramphorn. “We had an engine that kept causing us issues so we now have to try to solve the problem, but we’re right back in the fight.”