Sail-World.com : F1 H2O Grand Prix of Russia - Legend Scott Gillman to race in Kazan
F1 H2O Grand Prix of Russia - Legend Scott Gillman to race in Kazan
Grand Prix of Russia 2011 is the third race of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship and will be held over the weekend of 16th and 17th July.
In a shocking discovery this morning, the second most successful winning driver in the history of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship and a four-time World Champion, Scott Gillman, announced he is officially returning to racing after being away from driving an F1 boat in almost four years.
Gillman, the driver from Los Angeles, California who holds the record for an outstanding 93% rate of podium finishes in his career will be making his 90th start at this weekend's 12th Grand Prix of Russia in the city of Kazan 700 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow.
Scott, who is making his racing debut since retiring at a race in Xian, China for medical reasons while at the time was leading the 2007 championship, is filling in for teammate Ahmed Al Hameli who received a red card at the tours last stop in Portimao, Portugal and will be forced to sit out this Grand Prix event.
'This weekend I'll be changing hats from Team Manager and again back to being a driver for my Team Abu Dhabi organization,' said Gillman. 'Actually, physically, I feel great and I was actually given the green light to return to racing three years ago but passed on the option. I'm helping out the team this weekend and am ready to run even though I maybe a little rusty at first. I think I'll get everything settled before Saturday afternoon's qualifying session. I kind of feel this is what Michael Schumacher must have gone through a few years ago. I'm ready. This will be a lot of fun believe me.'
The veteran driver, who made his debut in F1 racing back in 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida, is a three time North American Champion winning titles in 1990, 1995 and 1996 before coming on the worldwide stage of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship tour winning the first of his four World Titles his rookie season in 1997.
Scott went on to join Team Abu Dhabi shortly thereafter and won three more titles for them in 2000, 2004 and 2006 and was leading the championship in 2007 when medical problems forced him to retire for the rest of that season. Scott officially took over as full-time Team Manager after that point and has been schooling both Ahmed and Thani Al Qamzi ever since with Thani earning five career victories and Ahmed three for the team.
Gillman, in his 11 years on the UIM F1 H2O tour, has 23 victories, which is second best all-time, along with 55 podiums in 59 finishes in his 89 career starts. He has also earned 28 pole positions which is also second best all-time while accumulating a total 883 points.
Scott's return marks the first time that three American drivers will be in the line-up since the 1994 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi. Other American's this weekend include Qatar Team's Jay Price who currently leads the championship with two straight wins and 40 points, along with Shaun Torrente of Florida who drives for Team Sweden and who is tied for sixth place in the drivers table.
In 1994 event, Felix Serralles won the race. Bill and Mike Seebold also took part with Mike's second place making it an American one-two finish. The last podium that featured two American's was back in 2006 when Scott Gillman won and Jay Price finished second at the Grand Prix of China in Chengdu.
The 12th Grand Prix of Russia will have official qualifying set for 16:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Saturday the 16th followed by Sunday's Grand Prix also scheduled for 16:00 in Kazan (12:00 GMT) and 08:00 (EDT) in North America.
F1 H20 Championship website
by Philippe Stiernon
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12:54 PM Wed 13 Jul 2011 GMT
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