In this afternoon’s official qualifying in Terracina for the Mediterranean Grand Prix, Victory's Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri posted the fast time and have retained their Edox Pole Position crown. The team will start race 1 of the GP in pole position.
Today’s win, their third of the season, puts the Dubai duo into an unassailable position at the top of the standings with a maximum 60-points, and with the final qualifying session of the year in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December and just 20-points available they cannot be overhauled.
The Champions immediately set the pace around the 4.80Nm circuit on their first flying lap posting a time of 2.54.89s and then bettered it on their next run to set the quickest time of the session, 2.51.97seconds. 'It was a good afternoon for us,' said Mohammed Al Marri. 'We tried several different options out there, changing the ratios to give us more speed and the last was the best. Arif and I also drove better this afternoon. It was not as rough as this morning and we were much better in the corners. I hope for the same conditions in the race and we will push to be number one.'
The home favourites Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella in LFF10 left it until very late in the session to snatch second place from Turkish-Norwegian duo Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski in Zabo-Isiklar.
The Zabo-Isiklar crew looked to have done enough with their final time of 2.57.56s and with the time compensation of minus 1% given to them for running Hering cast propellers, which will be mandatory for all teams in 2014, were momentarily in second spot with an adjusted time of 2.55.79s.
But Formilli Fendi and Carpitella went again for one last throw of the dice and a sixth and final run and stole second place with a time of 2.55.24s. 'I was a little disappointed because we had a problem and lost power in the right engine,' said Carpitella. 'We were 200rpm down so we changed propellers and ratios to see if that made any difference but it didn’t. Now we have to check the computer to see what it is and hope we can resolve it by tomorrow.'
Fendi and Carpitella move up into second place overall in the Edox Pole Position Championship on 36-points with Zabo-Isiklar tied in third with HUB Team Australia, who failed to make it to Terracina, on 27-points.
Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in the second Fendi Racing boat put in a solid performance posting the fourth fastest time ahead of Poliform, with Guido Cappellini making a race appearance in the cockpit, standing in for Tarik Oktem, to race alongside Giampaolo Montavoci.
Team Abu Dhabi was forced to sit out the session as the crew continued to work on the boat to try to get it ready for tomorrow’s race. 'After the accident in Istanbul we were handed an empty boat, no rigging, no wiring and no engines,' said Scott Gillman. 'Although there was no major structural damage, we have had to completely refit the boat. It will be very tough to be ready but everyone is working flat out.'
FA.RO ACCIAI was another non-starter in qualifying due to work being carried out on the boat, but throttleman Luca Nicolini confirmed they will start tomorrow.
Today’s 15th and 16th career wins in qualifying for Al Zaffain and Al Marri made it a remarkable ninth Pole Position Championship for the Victory Team, and the defending World Champions now head into to tomorrow’s 11-lap, 53.06Nm race looking to extend their World Championship lead.
Mediterranean Grand Prix - Edox Pole Position – Results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - 02.51.97
2. 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) - 02.55.24
3. 91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) - 02.55.79
4. 8 LFFendi8 - Miles Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) - 03.03.97
5. 74 Poliform – G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (SUI) - 03.01.76
5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dns
23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) - dns
Edox Pole Position Championship - after round 3
1. 3 Victory Team - 60pts 2. 10 LFF10 - 36pts 3= 7 HUB Team Australia - 27pts 3= 91 Zabo-Isiklar - 27pts 5. 8 LFF8 - 21pts 6. 74. Poliform - 12pts 7. 23 FA.RO.ACCIAI - 11pts 8. 5 Team Abu Dhabi 9pts
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