Victory 3 wins second race in Pearl Qatar GP
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK DOHA
QATAR Team’s lead pair Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor al Thani and Steve Curtis could not respond to the early charge by Victory 3 and had to satisfy with the final podium position in the second race at the Pearl Qatar Grand Prix, round one of the UIM Class One World Powerboat Championship, in Doha on Saturday.
Arif Saif al Zafeen and Mohammed al Marri, in Victory 3, overcame a fierce early challenge from Guido Cappellini and Gian Maria Gabbiani in Poliform to eventually take the chequered flag from Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid al Tayer and Majed al Mansoori by the margin of 15.72 seconds.
Spirit of Qatar 95’s Ali al Neama and Matteo Nicolini finished fourth overall, but it was a disappointing conclusion to the weekend for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed team after the superb showing on Thursday.
Today’s result means that both Spirit of Qatar 96 and Victory 3 are tied at the top with 32 points each. Team Abu Dhabi is holding the third place with 30 points from two second-placed finishes.
“I’m not really excited about the podium finish today. I feel both Victory 3 and Team Abu Dhabi executed a perfect plan and shut the door on us at the first buoy. We had to slow down to avoid any incident and after that we could not gather enough pace to force any change in the finishing order,” Sheikh Hassan commented after the race.
“We’re on the podium again.
We’re tied with the Victory Team at the top. It is wide open now. The championship has not been this way for the past few years. Our fastest lap today is less than half a second slower than the leading boat, so we can go back and plan something for the next race.” Talking about the new venue, Sheikh Hassan said: “It is new place to all. It is said to be having open sea conditions.
We’ll take what it is and try to do a better job there,” said Sheikh Hassan.
Curtis was also upset with the second day’s result. “A good start was needed. But we could not manage it. Once you are stuck behind, you are stuck behind. There is nothing much you can do. The boat is definitely much stronger than the past year but we could not show what the boat is capable of,” said the celebrated throttleman.
Mohammed al Marri of Victory 3 was excited with the victory. “We had a bad start to the season’s first race. We were not behind Spirit of Qatar 96 in terms of speed even in the first race. But because of the penalty laps, we had lost the winning chance.
“We’re the world champion and have very strong team and the boat. This we proved today and we’re delighted to be back into winning ways again,” Marri added.
Following Spirit of Qatar 95’s disqualification from race one results for a minor technical issue, the two Qatar boats lined up in first and fourth places for the second 11-lap race of the weekend on the revised 6.63Nm course off the Pearl.
Gabon joins 2012 C1 Officials at H20 Racing have now added a new venue to the calendar for the 2012 UIM Class One World Powerboat Championship calendar.
The scenic West African country of Gabon, which co-hosted the recent Africa Cup of Nations, is scheduled to play host to the next round of the series in Libreville on June 29-July 1, 2012. The African race will replace the Norwegian Grand Prix in Norway, which has now been cancelled and had originally been intended for the same weekend.