Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Another win for Sami Selio

by F1H2O 
Sami Selio of Finland of Mad Croc Baba Team action at the UIM F1 H2O powerboat Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Paul Lakatos/Idea Marketing
Two-time World Champion Sami Selio was out front from start to finish to capture his second victory of the season and move to the top of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship standings and brings three drivers within four points for the championship fight that will be decided on the 12th and 13th of December in Sharjah, UAE.

The 38 year-old driver from Helsinki took a 2.41 second victory over French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team and now holds 64 points on the season with 20 points still up for grabs in the championship.

'It was a great weekend for me and all of the Mad Croc Team members as we prepared a new boat and it worked to perfection,' said Sami.

'We now are looking forward to Sharjah in two weeks and hopefully a third title. We know the drill and to this, I feel we have an advantage.'

For Chiappe, who was disqualified in Doha two weeks ago today was important for any hopes he has on earning his first title.

'We know we are a bit of a long shot sitting fourth, but we still are in the game and will be ready to play, said the driver from Rouen.

Meanwhile, the attention also focuses on Team Qatar with both drivers, third place Alex Carella of Italy and fifth place Shaun Torrente of the USA now sitting in the top three with the driver from Florida two points behind Selio with 62 and the two-time World Champion Carella two more back at 60 as he chases his third straight title.

Torrente, who came into the event leading the chase with 55 points, dug himself out of a giant hole after breaking an engine and starting 11th. However, once the race started he moved up more than any one driver in the race, sliding up six places to fifth at the end.

However, Norway's Marit Stromoy who argumentatively had the 'drive of the day' in keeping Torrente back in fifth finishing with her career best with a well earned fourth place position.

'I was feeling the heat from behind but I had a great package and there was no way I was going to let him by me,' said Marit. 'He had acceleration and I had the top end speed and am delighted with where I finished considering the great following of fans and sponsors alike who came from Norway to watch me race this weekend.'

Carella, who ran a lonely race in third and couldn't threaten Chiappe for second after his boat lost it cowling and upset his aerodynamics finished 5.41 seconds behind Selio.

Kuwaiti driver Youssef Al-Rubayan of the F1 GC Atlantic Team came home 20.84 seconds in sixth position, while American driver Terry Rinker finished a fine seventh and ahead of his teammate Jonas Andersson of Team Azerbaijan who retired after 30 laps in 12th place.

Selio's teammate Filip Roms had another fine top ten finish with his eighth and Italian Valerio Lagiannella held up the flag for the Singha Team taking ninth position with number one pilot Francesco Cantando forced to sit out after breaking his boat in Doha.

Rounding out the top ten was Italian Ivan Brigada earning a point for the returning Caudwell Racing Team from South Africa on a solid performance for this developing racing team.

The sad news of the day was the first corner incident at the start of the race when both drivers of the home racing Team Abu Dhabi took each other out fighting for a top five position as Ahmed Al Hameli and teammate Thani Al Qamzi were chasing their first win along the corniche.

The thousands of race fans who watched the race saw a classic event and now see three drivers locked in a titanic struggle for the overall championship in two weeks time along the Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah on the 12th and 13th of December.

http:///F1H20 website