HISTORY MADE, GREMLINS PLAGUE TURKISH GRAND PRIX OF THE SEA Chaudron and Outerlimits Take Round 3 of Powerboat P1 World Championship History was made today when the green flag dropped for the first Turkish Grand Prix of the Sea on the...
HISTORY MADE, GREMLINS PLAGUE TURKISH GRAND PRIX OF THE SEA
Chaudron and Outerlimits Take Round 3 of Powerboat P1 World Championship
History was made today when the green flag dropped for the first Turkish Grand Prix of the Sea on the Bosphorus River in Istanbul. With the race course spanning two continents - the Bosphorus separates the European and Asian portions of Turkey--commercial shipping traffic on the river shut down for the first time in 500 years. Racing action also made history as the first all-female P1 team, placed first in SuperSport Class of round 3 of the Powerboat P1 World Championship. But the races were not without mechanical issues that impacted the outcome and created drama in both the SuperSport and Evolution classes.
The nine-lap Sprint race was over before it started for the Evolution Class #53 METAMARINE PIGNOLO, which after a dramatic crash at the Maltese Grand Prix of the Sea, completed a Herculean effort to repair the boat and heal the injuries of Italian teammates Marco Pennesi and Max Ferrari. They made it to Istanbul, only to experience a mechanical failure as the boats were milling for the start and had to be towed from the race course.
Once Evolution racing began, the start saw three boats battling to take the first turn. The #77 LUCAS OIL Asif Rangoonwala of Powerboat P1 BUDWIESER, new entry #33 FURNIBO and #88 SNAV OSG were all positioning to make a move. When the rooster tails cleared, the Italian SNAV OSG, a Mercury-power Outerlimits, held a slight lead with the Belgian FURNIBO - the same Fountain Lightning model that won the World Championship the past two years, but now powered by Mercury Racing, and the Chief-powered Outerlimits of LUCAS OIL BUDWIESER battling for second place. However, that lead was short lived as SNAV OSG almost immediately encountered a supercharger belt problem, forcing them from the race. Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelar, both veterans of P1, but now racing in the first race with a new boat, moved into the lead but were overtaken in the next turn when Outerlimits president Mike Fiore and teammate Joe Sgro made a move to the inside to pass and the Americans never looked back.
In the fifth-lap with time running out, FURNIBO closed to within two seconds of LUCAS OIL BUDWIESER and was looking for a spot to make its move when it began losing power in the turn and came off plane, losing as much as 12 boat lengths before the Belgians were back on track, only to lose speed again in the next turn. Despite its problem, FURNIBO was able to hold on to a second place finish behind Fiore and Sgro, with Italians Luca Fendi and Matteo Nicolini finishing third in the #10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER, another Mercury-powered entry.
The SuperSport sprint race was not without its share of gremlins. The Team #26, now with new sponsors, SW1 CAPITAL, which was stripped of a victory in Malta for speed penalties and hot off a power pole victory, jumped out to a quick five boat length lead. They unfortunately experienced a drive failure in the third-lap, which allowed World Champions Angelo Tedeschi and Aaron Ciantar, who won Malta on penalties, to take the lead in their Ilmor-powered #43 SEAGULL CHAUDRON. The champs were followed closely by the female team of Shelly Jory and Aaron's sister, Iko Casa Audrienne Ciantar in #44 IKO CASA, a Chaudron powered by Mercury Racing. Aaron and Audrien used to race together and are the next generation of the Maltese boat building Ciantar family, who manufacture the Chaudron hulls the siblings' race.
And while ultimately the ladies didn't have enough to pass for the lead, SEAGULL CHAUDRON, a team known for its consistent, measured racing, fell victim to the same rule that put them on top in Malta; they received a one-minute penalty for exceeding the 85 mph-speed limit for 11 seconds, one second over the allotted time, and knocking them from the podium.
The error from the veterans awarded IKO CASA its first checkered flag as the first all-female team in Powerboat P1 history. The ladies were joined on the podium by #38 BAIA ATTOLINI in second and a third place finish by #17 MASFORCE.
More history promises to be made during the Turkish Grand Prix of the Sea when the round four Endurance race begins Sunday, June 21, at 5:15 a.m. Eastern time. Live broadcasts (and archived podcasts) from Istanbul are available from Powerboat P1 Radio (www.p1radio.com) and full information about the Powerboat P1 World Championship, the teams, equipment, personalities and photos are available by visiting www.powerboatp1.com.