July 6, 2009

Powerboat P1 - Italian GP SNAV OSG Baia Attolini All Italian Job

Lightning fast SNAV OSG stormed to the overall Powerboat P1 Italian Grand Prix of the Sea Championship in San Benedetto del Tronto after the all-Italian outfit followed up Saturday’s stunning Sprint Race victory with an emphatic Endurance Race win on Sunday. Racing in the face of turbulent weather and with UIM President Raffaele Chiulli among the thousands watching, the triumphant team beat the attrition epidemic that struck all but three of the Evolution Class powerboats to secure their first championship of the 2009 Powerboat P1 World Championship. SNAV OSG still trail Silverline by a staggering 119 points in the overall Evolution Class World Championship standings with the British-based team claiming the second spot on Sunday’s podium just ahead of Belgian outfit, 2B1 Furnibo. SuperSport victors Baia-Attolini ensured the Italians dominated the race weekend after breaking their winning duck in this year’s open-canopy class. Powerboat P1’s oldest statesman Renato Guidi celebrated a perfect birthday present collecting the overall Grand Prix of the Sea trophy alongside euphoric teammates. The thrilled trio closed the gap on SuperSport Class championship leaders, Seagull Chaudron, to 19 points with four rounds to go chasing the World Champions in Gothenburg, Sweden in August. Fourth place during Sunday’s Endurance Race scored Spirit of Belgium their first Powerboat P1 World Championship podium of 2009. Fairing marginally better than their Evolution peers, only two hulls failed to cross the finishing line with championship hopefuls, Ikocasa and Team SW1 Capital suffering from technical problems.
San Benedetto’s home town hero Marco Pennesi powered to pole position at the Italian Grand Prix of the Sea on Friday evening. Charging across the sun-drenched Lingomare shoreline, the Metamarine Pignolo 53 powerboat edged out Italian rivals SNAV OSG by 0.6 of a second with Cigarette Smash Poker starting from third in Saturday’s Sprint Race. Baia Attolini ensured an Italian double celebration with the fastest qualifying time in the open-canopy SuperSport Class. The Naples-based team has been threatening a top-placed finish all season and Friday’s pole-finder, albeit at the expense of Team SW1 Capital who suffered a three-minute penalty for missing a buoy, has given the speed-king trio of Stefano Acanfora, Roy Capasso and Renato Guidi a timely boost ahead of Saturday’s Sprint Race.
Evolution Race 5
After jumping out to a significant lead in Evolution Class, 10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER throttled by Matteo Nicolini and driven by Luca Formilli Fendi, spun their Mercury powered Cigarette in lap six, allowing 88 SNAV OSG, crewed by fellow countrymen Giancarlo Cangiano and Giovanni Carpitella to take the lead. The Mercury-powered Outerlimits never relinquished the lead, taking the checkered flag ahead of CIGARETTE SMASH POKER, which recovered nicely but had little time to chase down the new leader. Hometown hero Marco Pennesi, whose Seatek diesel powered 53 METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53 was built in San Benedetto del Tronto, finished third for an all Italian podium. Pennesi's regular throttleman, Max Ferrari was replaced due to a scheduling conflict by Luca Nicolini, brother of Matteo. The Nicolini brothers were born a short distance from the race venue.
Evolution Race 6
Thunderstorms delayed the start and threatened the finish of day-two racing in the Powerboat P1 Italian Grand Prix, but when the checkered flag flew, the Italian 88 SNAV OSG, a Mercury-powered Outerlimits crewed by Giancarlo Cangiano and Giovanni Carpitella, added the Evolution Class Endurance Race to Saturday's Sprint Race victory, and captured the weekend's Grand Prix title. While delayed, the race start saw exciting action lining up wide behind the pace boat and crashing in on a right-hand dog-leg turn when the green flag dropped. Belgians Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaer in the 33 FURNIBO jumped their Mercury-powered Fountain ahead of the pack, but were forced wide going into the turn by hometown heroes Marco Pennesi and Luca Nicolini's 53 METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53. When the rooster-tails cleared coming out of the first turn, SNAV OSG held first, and never looked back, racing to an easy victory. Close behind them were fellow Italians 10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER, and 77 LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER, who had worked their Outerlimits with Chief engines from deep in the pack to emerge third. However, entering the first full race lap, LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER came off plane, limping their way through the rest of the race and moving METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53 into third. On the second full lap, CIGARETTE SMASH POKER also dropped off plane, and later dropped from the race, which allowed FURNIBO to move up into third. In lap three, FURNIBO executed another tight turn move on METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53, moving into second, and the three boats held that position, with SNAV OSG opening a wider lead with each new lap. Then on lap 11 of the 13 lap Endurance Race, thick black smoke began pouring from the diesel engines of METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53, and as rain started to fall the Power Pole winner and Saturday's third-place finisher came off plane and completed the race well off the pace. METAMARINE's problems allowed the Brits in the 47 SILVERLINE, who had been crawling through the races both days in order to assure a finish and maintain their standing in the points battle, to move into third. Team SILVERLINE, a Buzzi hull powered by Sterling Marine engines is the only Evolution Class boat to receive a "reliability bonus" of 50 points for having made it through the first half the season using the same set of motors. The bonus points, coupled with their third place finish on Sunday puts SILVERLINE atop the P1 World Championship point standings, despite never having taken a win this season.
SuperSport Race 5
Defending champions Angelo Tedeschi and Aaron Ciantar racked-up another checkered flag in their 43 SEAGULL CHAUDRON, powered by Ilmor. The Mercury-powered Donzi 38 BAIA ATTOLINI, finished second after winning the Power Pole on Friday. Third place saw the all-female team 44 IKO CASA, a similar Chaudron hull as their 43 teammates, only powered by Mercury Racing. The ladies have been delivering consistent performance for Tedechi's Racing Project, and only ten seconds separated the top five teams in SuperSport Class on Saturday.
SuperSport Race 6
Timing is everything, it is said, and that proved true in the second day of the Powerboat P1 World Championship Italian Grand Prix of the Sea at San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy. A points tie for the Grand Prix title between 43 SEAGULL CHAUDRON, Saturday's race winner and 38 BAIA ATTOLINI, which took Sunday's checkered flag was decided by the fastest race times, and delivered the Grand Prix SuperSport title to BAIA ATTOLINI's, in the Mercury-powered Donzi. The Italians jumped to an early lead following the start, in which both Evolution and SuperSport classes started together along a wide line before having to cut in for a hard right turn onto the race course. It was a lead they held for the entire race. The all-female team of 44 IKO CASA, a Chaudron hull powered by Mercury Racing were hot on their heels followed by Britian's 26 SW1 CAPITAL. However, SW1 CAPITAL, which has been plagued by problems this season, saw gremlins once again end their race early, allowing IKO CASA's team boss, in the Ilmor-powered 43 SEAGULL CHAUDRON move into third. The race positions never changed, but the ladies were closing the gap on the leaders when rain began falling in lap eight of the 12 lap Endurance race. On the very next lap, IKO CASA came off plane and 17 MasForce, moved their Mercury-power NorTech into third. Then in the final two laps, another two-boat team was able to make a move as 22 BIG SERGIO, were able to overtake MasForce, winning the Italians a place on the Sunday podium. However, MasForce's fourth place finish Sunday and fifth place finish on Saturday provided a points total moving them into third place overall for the Italian Grand Prix of the Sea.
1 88 SNAV OSG 00:32:09.89
2 10 Cigarette Smash Poker 00:32:27.99
3 53 Metamarine Pignolo 53 00:33:49.73
4 66 Cranefields Wine 00:39:35.22
5 77 Lucas Oil Outerlimits 00:33:13.82 -1 lap
6 47 Silverline 00:41:52.58 -2 laps
7 33 Furnibo
1 88 SNAV OSG 00:59:14.36
2 33 Furnibo 01:02:03.01
3 47 Silverline 01:00:52.24 -2 laps
4 53 Metamarine Pignolo 53 DNF
5 10 Cigarette Smash Poker RET
6 77 Lucas Oil Outerlimits DNF
7 66 Cranefields Wine DNF
1 43 Seagull Chaudron 00:34:15.53
2 38 Baia Attolini 00:34:17.68
3 44 Iko Casa 00:34:24.07
4 26 Team SW1 Capital 00:34:33.68
5 17 MasForce 00:36:01.21 -1 lap
6 22 Big Sergio 00:37:38.66 -3 laps
7 28 Blue Shaft DNF
1 38 Baia Attolini 01:02:53.55
2 43 Seagull Chaudron 01:02:56.75
3 22 Big Sergio 01:03:18.67
4 17 MasForce 01:03:34.87 -1 lap
5 28 Blue Shaft 01:06:28.48 -1 lap
6 44 Iko Casa DNF
7 26 Team SW1 Capital RET

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