At the Mediterranean Grand Prix, Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri eased to their fourth win of the year with an untroubled flag-to-finish victory in race 1. Behind the winners, the fight for the podium was between LFF10 and Zabo-Isiklar but despite taking the chequered flag in second place, Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella paid the price for destroying a turn buoy on the opening lap.
Victory team crossing the line in race 1 of the 2013 Mediterranean Grand Prix
The Italians incurred a 25-second post-race penalty, which combined with the 20-second time compensation given to Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski, dropped them to third.
The Victory duo grabbed hold of the race from the start to lead by seven seconds at the end of the start lap increasing the gap to 26-seconds by mid race, going on to close out the win and complete the 11-lap, 53.06Nm race in 32:04.84s. 'We had the right set-up for the flat conditions and the plan was to be in front at the first turn and we did just that,' said Arif Al Zaffain. 'We were able to control the race from that point and at about half way we eased back.'
The only slight controversy surrounding the defending Champions emphatic win was a 25-second post-race time penalty given to them for passing a mark of the course on the wrong side. But despite the penalty they still managed to win by almost 15-seconds.
2013 Mediterranean Grand Prix - 91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR)
Zabo-Isiklar and LFF10 continued their post-qualifying duel and produced a sensational opening two laps trading places, racing side-by-side just inches apart.
Isik and Zaborowski led at the end of lap one but by less than two-tenths of a second, then immediately conceded the position at the first turn with Formilli Fendi and Carpitella passing them on the inside.
The Italians were then able to pull away opening up a 23-second lead as they took the chequered flag in second spot. But it was the opening lap that would prove costly, the additional 25-second penalty costing them the runners-up slot.
'I am very disappointed,' said team-owner driver Luca Formilli Fendi. 'The start lap was horrible but we came back on the next lap and had a good battle with Norway [Zabo-Isiklar]. But then I made a mistake and took out a buoy. I accept the penalty but Victory missed a single course marker and should have been disqualified. This is something that needs to be talked about.'
Victory team claim race 1 win at 2013 Mediterranean Grand Prix
For Christian Zaborowski a third runners-up slot was a good result for the team after the work they have done on the boat and as much as they could have hoped for. 'I am happy with the result. We just didn’t have any more pace. We tried to keep the gap down to Fendi and if he didn’t hit the buoy he would have been second. So we are a little bit lucky. But we raced well, Ugur drove really well but we are at our maximum in terms of pace and performance. I am just waiting for everyone to be using the same propellers. Then we will see what happens.'
Behind the top three LFF8’s Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato ran a very solid and rather solitary race to finish well ahead of fifth placed FA.RO. Acciai, with Tarik Oktem taking his seat behind the wheel to join Giampaolo Montavoci in Poliform and picking up points in sixth.
Mediterranean Grand Prix – race 1
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) – 32:04.84
2. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 14.77s
3. 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 37.11s
4. 8 LFFendi8 - M Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) + 1:43.00s
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 2:24.00s
6. 74 Poliform - T Oktem (TUR) / G Montavoci (ITA) + 2 laps
5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dns
World Championship - after round 3, race 1
1. 3 Victory Team - 82pts 2= 7 HUB Team Australia - 60pts 2= 10 FFendi10 - 60pts 4. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - 49pts 5. 23 FA.RO Acciai - 37pts 6. 8 LFFendi8 - 30pts 7. 74 Poliform 19pts 14. 8. Team Abu Dhabi - 18pts
Class 1 website