Gianfranco Venturelli is no stranger to success and the situation his team now find themselves in. Since joining Victory as Team Manager in 1998 he has guided the Dubai outfit to three World, five European and two Middle East Championships.
Victory 77. Photo:Simon Palfrader© - WPPA Class 1 World Powerboats Championship
This year Victory 77 regained the European title and with three races remaining look to be on the verge of recapturing the world title that the team last held in 2001. For Venturelli their current position is a luxury but also a headache.
'In the past when we were chasing the title we have nothing to lose – so it was a case of trying anything and everything we could and we did,' he said. 'Now the situation is different. We are in front. We have to be aggressive but must pay attention to all things because now we can lose everything – it’s a luxury situation but at the same time presents a big headache.'
Victory’s two main rivals are Qatar 96 and Spirit of Norway, both finishing ahead of Victory 77 in the last race and Venturelli knows where the threat lies. 'We have to be realistic – we know if number 10 (Spirit of Norway) stays together – I think they are unbeatable.' commented Venturelli, adding. 'We know this situation. We have been there. If the difference in performance stays the same it will not be good for the championship if it is the same winner again. This is what people said when we were winning – so we decided to make our boats available to everybody to try to make the championship more even.
'But again, if Spirit of Norway doesn’t make a mistake like they did in Romania or have a technical problem, there is no doubt they will win. Qatar 96 is also very fast – but we must not do anything crazy or take risks but at the same time must be aggressive. In Egypt the conditions were bad – two teams needed to fight each other and not us - so there was no need to get in the middle, no need to take risks – the target was finish on the podium - we did. Now is the time to defend our position and a podium is critical for Victory 77.'