Defending World Champion Sami Selio finally put together a weekend he was hoping for by winning a thrilling 1.77 second victory over Jay Price of the Qatar Team.
Selio moved up to third place in the championship with 47 points on Lake Shenzhen in front of tens of thousands of fans on a hot and steamy afternoon for 65 laps at the sixth round of the 2008 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating.
While the sold out crowd stood on their feet for most of the race the Woodstock Red Devil Racing Team driver held the point as pressure mounted from the driver from New Orleans, Louisiana who now has moved 36 points in front of the pack with just 40 points still remaining in this season's championship.
'We got a great start and led from the front and stayed out of trouble early on which helped us tremendously,' stated Selio. 'It was very hot and we couldn't let up for an instant with Jay hounding me the whole time. We still have a slight chance for the championship but it's really out of hands now. The team did a great job and now we are going to celebrate being back in the number one position with a win today.'
The driver known for over 25 years as the 'Ragin Cagin' did his level best to push for the win despite having a severe trim problem that limited his use of getting the most speed out of the DAC boat.
'We had a devil of a time trying to control the boat all day and I had to be very careful in using power because on some parts of the course it would be easy to blow the boat completely over if I wasn't careful, said Price. 'Now with the second place we are so close to the championship we can almost taste it, but we are relentless and will not let our guard down as we head to the United Arab Emirates for the final two races of the year.'
Team Abu Dhabi driver Ahmad Al Hameli reached the podium for the third time this season when he finished a strong third place 4.32 seconds behind the leader at the end.
Despite getting on a severe learning curve by switching from his injured BABA boat to a DAC he still has moved up to fourth in the driver's championship with 40 points.
Ahmad's teammate Thani Al Qamzi put together a daring move early in the race passing leader Selio at the right hander at the start finish line overtaking for a brief lead in the race on the eighth lap before going out with an engine problem on lap 13 marking the sixth straight time he has failed to pick up points this season.
Swedish driver Jonas Andersson came home a quiet fourth place 19.17 seconds back in his F1 Team Sweden DAC boat and retains his slim shot at taking the 2008 title by gaining nine more points while finishing for the first time without winning a race he has completed.
Fifth was another Swede in Pierre Lundin and the first of the China CTIC Team drivers 30.88 seconds back from Selio and another top five finish this season now sitting sixth in the championship with 31 points.
French driver Philippe Chiappe was 6th picking up points in his sixth consecutive race and 8th in the championship with 29 points for the Atlantic Team.
Fellow Frenchman Philippe Dessertenne got the China CTIC Team their second top-10 performer with the native of La Rochelle coming home seventh and 10th in the championship.
The battle for 'Rookie of the Year' honors may be sliding towards Latvian driver Uvis Slakteris as the driver from Riga took eighthh in the race and now has four top-10 finishes this season with 17 points.
Italian driver Valerio Lagiannella scored his first ever championship points in his 13th race by coming home ninth in his Rainbow Team DAC boat after moving up from his 19th starting position.
Rounding out the top-10 was Portugal driver Duarte Benavente who drove his Dragon boat from 19th all the way to a point paying position for the second time this season.
Australian David Trask of GTR Racing had gone into this event in third place in the 2008 series overal but failed to finish and slipped back into fifth place in the overall ranking.
GP of China Shenzhen, 25 & 26 October
Posn Boat Driver Nat Team Lap's Down Points
1 1 SELIO Sami FIN Woodstock Red Devil Racing 65 46:48 20
2 11 PRICE Jay USA Qatar Team 65 1.77 15
3 6 AL HAMELI Ahmad UAE Team Abu Dhabi 65 4.32 12
4 14 ANDERSSON Jonas SWE F1 Team Sweden 65 19.17 9
5 8 LUNDIN Pierre SWE China CTIC Team 65 30.88 7
6 9 CHIAPPE Philippe FRA Atlantic Team 65 31.80 5
7 7 DESSERTENNE Philippe FRA China CTIC Team 64 L1 4
8 16 SLAKTERIS Uvis LAT F1 Team Sweden 64 L1 3
9 32 LAGIANNELLA Valerio ITA Rainbow Team 63 L2 2
10 10 BENAVENTE Duarte POR Atlantic Team 63 L2 1
11 75 KOURTSENOVSKI Stan RUS Tamoil F1 47 RET
12 3 TRASK Bob AUS Trask Brothers Racing 41 RET
13 4 TRASK David AUS Trask Brothers Racing 40 RET
14 24 CANTANDO Francesco ITA Singha Team 23 RET
15 23 GAMBI Marco ITA Singha Team 23 RET
16 5 AL QAMZI Thani UAE Team Abu Dhabi 12 RET
17 70 COMPARATO Fabio ITA 800 Doctor 9 RET
18 12 AL KHULIFI Youssef QAT Qatar Team 1 RET
19 31 STROMOYMarit NOR Rainbow Team DNS
20 15 TOURRE Philippe FRA F1 Team Sweden DNS
21 74 BRIGADA Ivan ITA Tamoil F1 DNS
World Championship 2008
Jay PRICE 85
Jonas ANDERSSON 49
Sami SELIO 47
Ahmad AL HAMELI 40
David TRASK 32
Fabio COMPARATO 31
Pierre LUNDIN 31
Philippe CHIAPPE 29
Guido CAPPELLINI 27
Uvis SLAKTERIS 17
Ph. DESSERTENNE 17