After a brief break between races and a hectic start of the season, the Powerboat P1 fleet tunes up for an important race at the half-way point of its 7-event, 14-race World Championship season. Hammamet, Tunisia, an exotic Mediterranean resort on the northeast coast of Africa hosts the July 11-13 event; as always, weather conditions will be key as teams plan their set ups for seas that could be tumultuous along the miles of sandy beaches. Temperatures are reaching a scorching 41 degrees—105.8 Fahrenheit!

With the standings in both Evolution and SuperSport closely contested, this weekend’s races are crucial as teams compete for the World Championship with remaining stops in Spain, Portugal and Bahrain. The reigning World Champs, #99 Ilmor-powered Fountain Worldwide 1st4boats.com, leads with the #88 Mercury Racing-powered Kiton Outerlimits just 90 points behind--(and Fountain still awaiting news on its appeal of the 100-point penalty assessed after the Italy opener.) The duel between these two manufacturers goes beyond P1, but these competitors have been toe-to-toe since last season.

In third place is the Italian diesel entry, the #60 GFN Gibellato. Its speed has been documented by consecutive pole position wins, and now the team is trying hardest to prove its skill and power in the big water. Right behind is former points leader #77 Mercury-powered Lucas Oil who fell on tough times with engine problems and hull damage. This Skater team is fighting for position against “sister Skaters” Ilmor-powered Pignolo 53 and #69 Chief-powered Honeyparty.com--and the #10 Mercury-powered Fantastic 1 Cigarette. All of these American manufacturers have bragging rights—and maybe even some sales--at stake.

In SuperSport class, the domination of the #44 Conam Yachts Chaudron boat has made it a race for second and third between the diesel-powered Hustler #7 VoomVoom.com and the Mercury-powered #38 Donzi, Baia High Performance. These two boats have gone at it in each race with the #47 Cummins-Mercruiser, Buzzi Bullet and #59 Mercury-powered Donzi, Saho. Both Donzi’s competed in Evolution last year, so they battle to keep the brand winning against Italian manufacturer, Fabio Buzzi and take on the Mercruiser-powered Formula, Phoenix 8. The #11 Fiat-powered Sunseeker will return to racing, totally retrofitted after sinking during testing in France.

These tough competitors will lead the field going into this 4th race, rounds 7 and 8 of the Powerboat P1 World Championship. Saturday’s Endurance race starts at 15:00, 9 AM EST for the SuperSport Class, followed by the Evolution class at 17:30, 11:30 AM EST. Sunday’s Sprint race begins at 16:00 (10 AM EST), followed by the Evolution class at 18:30. www.powerboatp1.com/multimedia links to Powerboat P1 radio where Martin Sanborn and Steve Ancell provide the lap-by-lap coverage starting at approximately 10 AM EST. The later afternoon race times are due to extreme heat in Tunisia.
For more breaking news, exciting photos and up-to-date coverage of this and all Powerboat P1 races, visit www.powerboatp1.com.
# # #