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news - TEAM ABU DHABI WINS INCIDENT-FILLED RACE 1 OF THE SWEDISH GRAND PRIX

Aug 08 2010

Saturday, 7 August, UDDEVALLA (Sweden):

Team Abu Dhabi’s Giovanni Carpitella and Rashed Al Tayer celebrated their maiden Grand Prix win in a dramatic and incident-filled first race of the Swedish Grand Prix, which saw the race red-flagged twice, with pole-sitters Welmax crashing out on lap 1 and both Relekta and Fazza going-out on lap 1 of the re-start.

A third start saw a reduced fleet take the green flag, with Team Abu Dhabi, winning the drag-race to the now infamous first turn buoy, ahead of Skydive Dubai and Primatist. Carpitella and Al Tayer, in their first race together, were able to control the race from the front, to complete the reduced 9-lap race in 21mins 47.98secs at an average speed of 178.35kmh to win by eight seconds. "What an afternoon," said Carpitella. "On the first start we were running second, and on the second start we were out front and clear at the first turn and this time were able to close the door on the boats behind us. But again there was an incident behind us and another red flag came out. So we had to do it all again. We pushed at the start but were then able to relax and control the race."

A podium for Skydive Dubai’s new pairing of Abdullah Al Mehairbi and Talib Al Sayed, in their first competitive outing in a Class 1 together, was some consolation for them and the team, after seeing their team-mates sidelined on the second restart, with Guido Cappellini and Nicola Giorgi capitalising on the earlier incidents to take a welcome podium spot in third place in Primatist.

For pole-sitters and pre-race favourites, Jorn Tandberg and Kolbjorn Selmer, any hopes of converting their win in the Edox Pole Position earlier in the day into a race-win, ended dramatically at the first corner of lap 1, crashing out of the Swedish Grand Prix after taking evasive action to avoid Fazza, with both pilots emerging unscathed from the escape hatch of the upturned Welmax. "It was tight at the start. Fazza came up on our outside and clearly they wanted to be first to the turn as much as we did. But they came over too early. They were not two lengths in front and cut across us. We had to turn sharply and over she went. But I am not sore at the guys, it was a mistake." said Selmer.

The restart saw Team Abu Dhabi lead into the first corner with Relekta’s Christian Zaborowski and Paul Gaiser going into the turn in second place after another impressive start, only to hook the boat right into the path of the oncoming World Champions, Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi, who drove into and over the back of the stricken raceboat, launching Fazza skywards.

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"I think there was a misunderstanding between me and Paul going into the turn." was all Zaborowski said, with Fazza throttleman, Nadir Bin Hendi, giving his view of the incident. "On the second restart, we came to the first turn behind Team Abu Dhabi and went to go on the inside. Relekta came round on the outside, spun into our way and we couldn’t avoid them. "We hit them on the rear of the boat and just took off through the spray – we couldn’t see anything. Fortunately we are all OK but the boat needs a lot of work done to get it ready to race again."

Both teams now face a race against time through the night to see if there is any chance of getting both boats to the start-line for tomorrow’s race.

SWEDISH GRAND PRIX, RACE 1 - results

1. Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / G Carpitella (ITA) 00.21.47,98

2. Skydive Dubai - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / T Al Sayed (UAE) + 00.07,81

3. Primatist - G Cappellini (ITA) / N Giorgi (ITA) + 1 LAP

Welmax - K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR) dnf

Relekta - P Gaiser (BRA) / C Zaborowski (NOR) dnf

Fazza - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) dnf

UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 5 of 12

1. Fazza - 82pts
2. Skydive Dubai - 68pts
3. Team Abu Dhabi - 47pts
4. Primatist - 35pts
5. Welmax - 29pts
6. Team Abu Dhabi - 16pts
7. Foresti & Suardi - SCAM - 11pts
8. Welmax Alianza - 10pts
9. Relekta - 7pts

© Raffaelo Bastiani

© Raffaelo Bastiani

© Raffaelo Bastiani