Defending World Champion Sami Selio was almost visible for most of the day, but his star shined brightly in the shootout for pole position as he captured his first of the season and his fourth of his career for tomorrow's Grand Prix of China the fifth round of the 2008 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating.
The driver from Helsinki, Finland drove his BABA boat to the top of the table with a speed of almost 160 kilometers as he raced around the choppy conditions of the six turn 1.575 kilometer course in downtown Liuzhou in Southwest China.
'First of all, it is great to once again be at the top of the table but these conditions were very challenging and my engine troubled me on the first of two laps, but my second was a flyer and we are happy with our 35.33 second lap,' said Sami. 'We are tied for fourth in the championship and need points and this is a great start to get closer in the championship fight.'
While the driver on the Woodstock Red Devil Racing Team will be starting first he's got a pair of young drivers from Team Abu Dhabi who are hungry to steal away the top position right at the start. Thani Al Qamzi who won in China a year ago will start second with a time of 35.36 as he continues to search for his first points of the season.
Next to him in third will be friend and teammate Ahmad Al Hameli who for the fourth time in four races this season will start in the top three on the start pontoon sitting third in the championship as well.
Fourth off the grid will be three-time winner in China Guido Cappellini of the Tamoil F1 Team with a 35.85 second lap. He currently is tied for fourth in the championship with Selio scoring 27 points thus far in his search for is tenth title.
Australian David Trask will start fifth after going around at a 36.04 second clip on the six turn course in front of thousands of fans here in Liuzhou.
Qatar Team driver Jay Price leading the drivers World Championship with 50 points had to have been the most upset driver in the field as he entered the shootout with the fastest time in two sessions having done a 35.55 earlier in the day only to finish with a 36.56 in the shootout.
Picture by Vittorio Ubertone/Idea Marketing - Grand Prix of China 2008 - F1 World?nid=49669
The American driver from New Orleans, Louisiana starting back in the sixth position and looking for another podium in China and hopefully holding onto his championship points lead at the end of the weekend.
Swedish driver Jonas Andersson of the F1 Team Sweden effort will start seventh with a fast lap of a 36.57 second time sitting second to Price with 40 points in the championship.
Eighth will be Italian Massimo Roggiero who later had his boat damaged and a sponson blowing out and now unsure if he will make tomorrow afternoons race in the Woodstock Red Devil Racing Team BABA hull.
Starting ninth will be French driver Philipe Chiappe in the Atlantic Team entry while rounding out the top 10 will be Italian Fabio Comparato 800 Doctor BABA hull hoping for his 2nd straight podium as well.
The sold out event is expected to have tens of thousands of race fans from throughout SW China for the 1530 local start. It will be the first of two back to back events followed in two weeks by the Grand Prix of Shenzhen.