Grand Prix of Ukraine - Frenchman claims first GP victory

by F1H20 
Philippe Chiappe of France of China CTIC Team at UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix of Ukraine.
© Philippe Stiernon
In the Grand Prix of Ukraine, French driver Phillipe Chiappe picked up his first Grand Prix victory in his 83rd career start to win going away in front of tens of thousands of fans on the Kyiv Sea on Saturday afternoon.

The CTIC China Team driver slid past pole sitter Sami Selio of the Mad Croc Team early in the event when Selio developed electrical problems slowing his pace and eventually finishing in fourth position after 38 laps at the second round of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship event.

Chiappe, who started racing on the tour back in 2002, earned the first victory for home country since his friend and now Race Manager Philippe Dessertenne took victory at the Grand Prix of Finland earlier that year.

'It has finally arrived,' said Chiappe. 'I've waited so long and we've come close so many times and this one my team deserves as well as they all did a super job and my new boat from David Moore was fantastic.'

While Philippe celebrated his 24.83 second victory, second place Shaun Torrente of the Qatar Team finished runner-up for the second straight race of the season sending the driver from Miami, Florida to the number one position in the World Drivers Championship with 30 points one point ahead of Sami Selio's 29.

'The guys gave me a great boat and I decided at the end to not push too hard for a victory and take the points,' said the American. 'Now with my teammate Alex Carella also finishing third for the second straight race we feel the Qatar Team has a leg up in the run for the Team Championship something we really want to capture at seasons end for the Qatar Motor Sports Federation (QMSF).'

The race for third and the final spot on the podium came down to the final two turns when Carella was able to pass Selio for a well earned 12 points.

Veteran Italian Francesco Cantando of the Singha Team was fifth after starting ninth, while Swedish driver Jonas Andersson came home right behind in the sixth position in his Team Azerbaijan boat.

Team Abu Dhabi had Thani Al Qamzi come home a disappointing seventh while a still recovering teammate Ahmed Al Hameli taking ninth for the 2011 winner of this event.

Kuwaiti driver Youssef Al Rubayan was eighth in his Atlantic Team DAC boat while rounding out the top ten was Norway's Marit Stromoy completed 35 of the 38 laps in his BABA built Team Nautica boat.

Philippe Chiappe has brought new blood to the series and marks only the second time in 249 Grand Prix races in the four decade history of the sport.

The series heads off to the third round of the championship on the first and second of October in Liuzhou, China.

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