13th Annual Grand Prix of Portugal Q3 Qualifier saw Norwegian Driver Marit Stromoy put the the world of powerboat racing on it's ear with a fantastic flying lap in the final two minutes of the session.
Marit Stromoy’s pole position in Q3 Qualifier - 13th Annual Grand Prix of Portugal
Stromoy topped the charts defeating 16 other male drivers from 12 different countries to become the first woman in the history of international motor sports to take pole position with a 42.47 second lap for tomorrow's Grand Prix.
The 35 year-old from Oslo waiting for the perfect time got clear water after a yellow flag stopping the session when Swedish driver Jonas Andersson stopped on the South end of the 1.8 kilometer seven turn race circuit and took off to put down a time that was .19 seconds ahead of World Points leader Jay Price of the Qatar Team who pushed as hard as he could for two laps and had to settle for second place .11 ahead of Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al Qamzi who managed a 42.77 taking the final place on the qualifying podium.
'I have to thank my crew for the preparation of the brand new BABA boat and the pit strategy was perfect putting me in a position to have clear water and a clean shot to gain the fastest lap of the day for pole position,' said Marit. 'I truly am overwhelmed with the warm wishes and the notoriety I am already receiving from people not only in Norway but around the world already.
Now, tomorrow, I'll plan my strategy for the start which on this circuit will mean everything. I hope I get a good night sleep and don't plan strategy until the whee hours of the morning.'
The final ten minutes of qualifying were electric with seven boats ending up less than 6/10th's separating first from seventh. Italian Alex Carella of the Qatar Team will start fourth with a 42.84 second time for the man who sits second in the championship. French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC CHINA Team was fifth with a 42.93 after finishing on the podium at the opening round in Qatar in March.
Shaun Torrente of Miami, Florida driving his second race for Team Sweden will start sixth in his DAC boat after posting a time of a 43.06 while next to him will be two time winner Ahmed Al Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi in the seventh spot with defending World Champion Sami Selio of Team Mad Croc finishing a disappointing eighth with a 43.60 lap.
Rounding out the top 10 were last year's pole sitter Francesco Cantando of the Singha Team with a 43.70 and Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden doing a 44.01 in his brand new BABA boat.
So, with the news of Marit's thundering pole position achievement spreading throughout not only her native Norway but around the racing world a new era in racing continues on the UIM F1 H2O World Championship as the women from Scandinavia who had never qualified better than sixth in 32 previous attempts to the men to school with her performance.
Can she hold off the remaining field of drivers as the second round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship 2011 returns to Portimao, Portugal for the 13th year on the Arade River starting tomorrow at 14:30 GMT with the event available worldwide on the website beginning at 14:25 GMT or 15:25 local. We'll see if Marit can hold her own and earn another historic achievement for the second time in two days.