News from Powerboat P1.
Chinese racer joins #08 Phoenix TV in Spain
The #08 Phoenix TV SuperSport class boat returned to the podium in Tunisia#08 Phoenix TV team boss and throttleman Martin Lai will be joined by Chinese TV presenter and car racer Michael Lieu for a test run in his SuperSport class boat in the build-up to the next round of the Powerboat P1 championship – the Vigo Grand Prix of the Sea, in northern Spain – on September 12-14.
Lieu has a background in both circuit racing and rallying, having finished on the podium in the European Touring Car Championship in Jarama, Spain, in 1984, and won the Indonesian round of the World Rally Championship’s Group N production class in 1996. He recently represented Subaru Rally Team China in the China Rally championship, ending a 10-year sabbatical from the sport.
'Michael contacted me and showed some strong interest in finding out about Powerboat P1, and having a go in one of the boats,' Lai said. 'He’s got some interest in racing in the Powerboat P1 in the future, and it will be interesting to see what he makes of the championship in Vigo
Consistent speed key to #44 Conam Yachts success
The #44 Conam Yachts crew scored another double SuperSport win in MaltaPowerboat P1 Racing and Event Director Andy Hindley has said that the SuperSport class-leading #44 Conam Yachts team’s race-winning pace is more a matter of consistency than outright top speed. The Italian-based outfit, which is on course to defend last year’s SuperSport title, has won seven out of eight races, and would have a clean sweep if not for a jump start penalty in the season-opener in Italy.
#44 Conam Yachts team boss and throttleman Angelo Tedeschi has said that his team’s reliability has been one area of focus that he feels has helped them maintain a near-perfect record. But Hindley has also praised the team’s ability to maintain a consistently strong speed in the races, saying it has also been key to their success.
'We had a couple of teams analysing the Virtual Spectator software, and they were thinking they should have beaten the #44 Conam Yachts boat because their top speed was higher,' Hindley said. 'They’re pushing closer to the 85mph speed limit than Angelo and [pilot] Aaron Ciantar are– if they’re at 84.7mph, then Angelo and Aaron are only at 84.3mph. The key is they’re at 84.3mph all the time.
'They’ve got the boat set so beautifully – the hull shape, the trim, the weight distribution and the drives. The props are nearly always in the water and the boat just goes round the track at near-top speed all the time. They don’t have to push right up to that 85mph limit because they don’t need to. Until the others can do that, they won’t be able to touch them.'
Wild cards sign up for Vigo Grand Prix of the Sea
Team Konrad Propulsion Systems (top) Tullio Abbate Team
Team Konrad Propulsion Systems (top) and #05 Tullio Abbate Team will be racing in Vigo, SpainTwo SuperSport-class wild card entries have signed up for the upcoming Vigo Grand Prix of the Sea in Spain – one, the returning #05 Tullio Abbate Team who have already taken part in the events in Italy and Tunisia; the other a new British-based team that plans to race in Spain and Portugal, and possibly the 2009 season as well.
The #05 Tullio Abbate Team entry will once again be crewed by pilot Vadim Gataullin, throttleman Claudio Giovio and navigator Mario Riva in Vigo for the Spanish event on September 12-14.
The new British-based Team Konrad Propulsion Systems outfit will use a US-built Velocity 390 hull, powered by Mercury Racing engines. Team boss Daniel Cramphorn will take the pilots’ seat, with Kim Collins on throttles and Barry Keen in the navigators’ seat.
They’re also planning to enter the Portuguese Grand Prix of the Sea in Portimao on September 26-28, and could consider an assault on the SuperSport class title in 2009 if all goes well.
'Since visiting a couple of Powerboat P1 races last year, I decided that I had to be involved in the championship,' said Cramphorn. 'The events were simply amazing. The professionalism, excitement and glamour of the event had me hooked straight away and I began talking to Velocity about building a boat for me to run in the series. If everything goes well this year, we’ll hopefully be campaigning the whole season in 2009.'
#38 Baia and #59 Saho pleased to run Donzi hulls
Saho SuperSport-class team
The #59 Saho SuperSport-class team race through the waves of TunisiaThe crews of the #38 Baia High Performance and #59 Saho boats have both said that they’ve appreciated the opportunity to run the former Evolution-class twin-canopy 38ZR hulls in the SuperSport class this year. The two teams currently lie third and seventh in the SuperSport championship standings respectively.
The Donzi 38ZR hull is ineligible for the Evolution class in 2008 as the series requires Evolution class boats to run with a closed canopy – something that would require a substantial re-design of the Donzi twin-canopy hull. Although the Donzi hull was previously ineligible for SuperSport, the rules have been adapted to allow it into the class for this year, encouraging teams to continue using the Italian-built boat.
The boat has proved one of the pace-setters of the SuperSport class, with the OSG Racing-run #38 Baia High Performance boat being a regular podium finisher. The Offshore Ranas team’s #59 Saho entry started off the season with strong results in Italy and France, but have since struggled to finish races.
'The Donzi is a hull I’ve known since I was a child,' said #38 Baia High Performance navigator Roy Capasso. 'It’s a boat with very high performance that runs very, very well. It’s a simple boat that maneouvers well in all conditions.'
That was a sentiment echoed by #59 Saho throttleman Federico Terenziani. 'The Donzi hull is innovative and is very fast on smooth seas,' he said. 'But we’re even satisfied with its performance in rough conditions. It’s also good in the turns, especially on tracks with many corners. This boat is born to race, and you have the advantage of being able to run seated, which gives you more sensitivity to how the boat behaves.'