CIGARETTE SMOKES THE EVOLUTION FIELD AND DONZI PREVAILS IN SUPERSPORT TURKISH GRAND PRIX OF THE SEA ROUND 4 There was no looking back for Luca Fendi and Matteo Nicolini as their Mercury-powered ...
CIGARETTE SMOKES THE EVOLUTION FIELD AND DONZI PREVAILS IN SUPERSPORT TURKISH GRAND PRIX OF THE SEA ROUND 4
There was no looking back for Luca Fendi and Matteo Nicolini as their Mercury-powered #10 CIGARETTE SMASH Asif Rangoonwala of Powerboat P1 POKER team took the lead at the start of Sunday's 15-lap Endurance race; the team finished nearly a minute ahead of the second place Fountain #33 FURNIBO team, also Mercury-powered. The #53 PIGNOLO Metamarine diesel made a great comeback from its accident in Malta, with both team and boat injuries repaired, to take third in this race-even though it did not start on Saturday due to a fuel cell problem.
Typically, attrition plays a part in endurance races, but it began at the start as the Mercury-powered #88 SNAV OSG Outerlimits was not able to recover from engine issues experienced on Saturday in the Sprint race, when the boat retired quickly after breaking a belt. Though with a new engine, the boat tested successfully earlier in the day, it could not make the start, leaving the 6-boat field to take the course.
When the Cigarette launched ahead, the FURNIBO Fountain and #77 LUCAS OIL/BUDWEISER Outerlimits fought for position, trading second and third places for several laps while #66 CRANEFIELDS WINE Searex, #53 PIGNOLO Metamarine and #47 SILVERLINE Buzzi boats competed for 4th, 5th and 6th positions. Since water conditions were smooth and the strong current seemed to subside somewhat today, speeds were well in excess of 100 mph so racing action proved exciting until CRANEFIELDS WINE retired in the 4th lap with an overheated engine followed by LUCA OIL losing power in one of its Chief Engines in the 7th lap. Since a team has to complete 70% of the total laps to earn points in the race, the #77 Outerlimits struggled to keep the boat on plane for the 4 more laps required.
In the meantime, Cigarette SMASH POKER continued to dominate with the Fountain FURNIBO team running cautiously at times as it seemed to periodically experience some guardian mode engine issues, running at 113 for its top speed. The PIGNOLO team continued to pick up speed as the bigger, heavier boat burned off fuel, achieving speeds of 110 mph. In the end, it was Cigarette SMASH POKER ahead by 53 seconds while the Outerlimits LUCAS OIL "was making painfully slow progress" according to P1 Radio announcer, Steve Ancsell, and failed to achieve its 11 laps by the end of the race.
"We have been working on a new set-up," said Eugenio Voltolina, of Sea Horse Marine, the Italian Cigarette team owner, "On Saturday, we decided to run conservatively for points as we did not want to repeat the mistake made in Malta when we ran very fast (and spun out). After the sea trail and practice here, we got it this morning and everything went very well!"
In the SuperSport class, the Team #26 SW1 CAPITAL Donzi made a dramatic comeback after breaking a shaft and losing a propeller in Saturday's race. The incident exemplified the off-the-race-course camaraderie of racers as the British team arranged overnight transport of a prop shaft from fellow British racer, Martin Lai, who plans to have his boat ready for the next race in Italy. A set of used and slightly battered props from the #38 BAIA ATTOLINI team gave the young bucks all they needed to take a convincing first place in the Endurance race. "They did well!" said Donzi VP of Sales, Craig Barrie, "They need to slow down! In motorsports today, it's all about the set up. When we set this boat up for them in Key West last year, I told them to be careful as this boat could run away from them. Then they called and told me (in the last race when they broke out of their speed limit), 'It got away from us!'"
The Sterling-powered Donzi team was followed by last year's World Champions, Angelo Tedeschi and Aaron Ciantar, in the new #43 Ilmor-powered Chaudron SEAGULL, with their championship boat from last year in 3rd, piloted by the all-female team of Shelley Jory and Audrienne Ciantar. However, the ladies fell into the same circumstances experienced by their Chaudron counterparts on Saturday and were penalized 1 minute for speeding, giving up second place to the #38 Donzi BAIA ATTOLINI Team. The 1st-4th place Donzi/Chaudron line-up was completed by the Nor-Tech #5 MASFORCE Spirit of Belgium team, then by the 2-boat Italian team, Al & Al Racing, #22 BIG SERGIO and #28 BLU SHAFT in 5th, 6th and 7th places.Shelly Jory team Champs
The combination of the two day's race points gave Cigarette SMASH POKER the Turkish Grand Prix Evolution Class title, followed by FURNIBO and SILVERLINE. In SuperSport, it was "Ladies Day" with the IKO CASA Chaudron team taking the Turkish Grand Prix title, followed by BAIA ATTOLINI and SEAGULL Chaudron. The historic day for the first-ever, all-woman team to win a Grand Prix title in Powerboat P1 was especially sweet as Shelley Jory and Audrienne Ciantar beat their own Chaudron team owner, Angelo Tedeschi and Audrienne's brother, Aaron; the two work with their father, Charlie, to build the Chaudron boats together in their Maltese family business. Jory showed her usual British "cheekiness" with her comment about Tedeschi's happiness for their win, "He's really chuffed but insisted that we shouldn't get used to winning because this will be the only time we will get the better of them."
The overall standings for the series, listed below may be surprising as the acclaim and podium celebrations generally focus on speed and winning. But many other factors come in to play as teams like the #47 SILVERLINE Buzzi boat can attest. This experienced team of Jan Falkowski and Drew Langdon who competed in Powerboat P1, the Round Britain and Cowes-Torquay-Cowes races last year, worked in the off-season to put a canopy on their former SuperSport boat and added new Sterling Performance engines to compete in the Evolution class. As P1 Radio announcer Martin Sanborn commented, "You don't have to be the fastest boat, you just have to be consistent."Peter Makris Memorial Run
The Powerboat P1 World Championship moves on to Italy's San Benedetto del Tronto, the hometown of Marco Pennessi of Metamarine, over the July 3-5 weekend. Stay tuned!