Italian Guido Cappellini took his Tamoil sponsored boat to it’s second win of the season and it’s second in four races in Doha and now leads the 2007 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating by 15 points with two races left to run on the season after taking victory at today’s 4th Grand Prix of Qatar on the cornice in downtown Doha.
The 48 year-old driver from Como, Italy set the pace of the race from the very start and never looked back winning by 4.92 seconds over Emirates Team driver Thani Al Qamzi who came into the event having won two of the last three events and had moved 10 points back of the 9-time World Champion. Cappellini’s win moves him farther in front of the race, but now the series moves to Al Qamzi’s home waters beginning a week from Friday on the 7th of December in Abu Dhabi.
'It was a good for us,`’ said Thani. 'We now are still within shouting distance of Guido but now I am going home and we are really going to put some pressure on the 'old fox'.
Taking a second straight 3rd place and the podium is the suddenly emerging Swedish driver of Pierre Lundin who came from his first top 5 qualifying performance to move up to 4th place in the championship with 38 points. Pierre’s teammate Fabio Comparato looked like his old self by charging his way up from 20th to take 8th for his first points of the season.
Young driver Hamid Al Hamli of the Emirates Team had a career best 4th place finish besting his previous best 9th place at the Grand Prix of Xi’an in October. His good finish strengthens the Team Championship for the Emirates crew.
Qatar Team driver Jay Price finally got rid of his bad luck by finishing his first race in four starts taking a 5th despite problems getting off the start pontoon when the lights went out and was one of the last drivers to get away cleanly. His battle to the front was one of the high points of the afternoon.
French driver Philippe Chiappe had a steady ride starting 9th and taking 6th at the end of the race for his 4th top 10 finish of the season for the Atlantic Team pilot from Rouen.
Finnish star Sami Selio’s race to the championship took a bitter blow when the F1 Team Energy driver ran into trouble yesterday afternoon when he and Cappellini got together in the first qualifying session and he was forced to take his teammate Stanislov Kourtsenovsky’s boat. Starting from his lowly 13th qualifying position he finished 7th and now trails Cappellini by 21 points with just 2 races to go in the championship.
Ex-World Champ Fabrizzo Bocca of the Rainbow Racing effort came home 9th for his 6th straight top 10 finish this season and now sits tied for 8th with 15 points on the year. His teammate Valerio Lagiannella sat out because of equipment problems and now Fabrizzo looks forward to working with his 2nd American driver of his career as new teammate Shaun Torrente arrives from Florida to run the final two events in the United Arab Emirates.
Australian Bob Trask came from 19th to pick up the final point on the day on his 49th birthday while his younger brother David may have had the hardest crash of the season corkscrewing himself to a stop in a missive hit on the 5th and final corner of the race circuit thankfully coming to a rest without serious injuries when it was all over.
Marit Stromoy of Norway completed the first of her four race season with another solid effort just outside the top-10 points paying position for the F1 Team Sweden Team while her teammate Jonas Andersson was in the middle of a wild battle with fellow Swede Pierre Lundin for the final podium position until his boat came to a stop on the 10th lap and thus failing to finish a race for the 5th time in the six races thus far this year.
The 2007 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating now moves on to the United Arab Emirates starting on the 6th and 7th of December in Abu Dhabi for a race event that dates back to 1993. Many world titles have been decided at this event and the question remains if it will Guido Cappellini’s title again or whether upstart Thani Al Qamzy on his home ground can take the title for the first time on what must be a perfect performance of back to back victories if the native of Como doesn’t’ make a mistake. Great questions still remain in the 2007 campaign http://www.f1boat.com/