Outerlimits, Mercury and Italians Dominate Evolution Class Racing
Thunderstorms delayed the start and threatened the finish of day-two racing in the Powerboat P1 World Championship Italian Grand Prix of the Sea, but when the checkered flag flew, the Italian #88 SNAV OSG, a Mercury-powered Outerlimits crewed by Giancarlo Cangiano and Giovanni Carpitella, added the Evolution Class Endurance Race to Saturday's Sprint Race victory, and captured the weekend's Grand Prix title.
While delayed, the race start saw exciting action as once again both Evolution and SuperSport classes raced together, lining up wide behind the pace boat and crashing in on a right-hand dog-leg turn when the green flag dropped. Belgians Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaer in the #33 FURNIBO jumped their Mercury-powered Fountain ahead of the pack, but were forced wide going into the turn by hometown heroes Marco Pennesi and Luca Nicolini's #53 METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53. Pennesi builds the Metamarine hulls in San Benedetto del Tronto, host city of the Italian Grand Prix of the Sea.
When the rooster-tails cleared coming out of the first turn, SNAV OSG held first, and never looked back, racing to an easy victory. Close behind them were fellow Italians #10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER, throttled by Matteo Nicolini and driven by Luca Formilli Fendi and #77 LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER with Americans Joe Sgro and Nigel Hook, who had worked their Outerlimits with Chief engines from deep in the pack to emerge third. However, entering the first full race lap, LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER came off plane, limping their way through the rest of the race and moving METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53 into third.
On the second full lap, CIGARETTE SMASH POKER also dropped off plane, and later dropped from the race, which allowed FURNIBO to move up into third. In lap three, FRUINBO executed another tight turn move on METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53, moving into second, and the three boats held that position, with SNAV OSG opening a wider lead with each new lap.
And then on lap 11 of the 13 lap Endurance Race, thick black smoke began pouring from the diesel engines of METAMARINE PIGNOLO 53, and as rain started to fall the Power Pole winner and Saturday's third-place finisher came off plane and completed the race well off the pace. METAMARINE's problems allowed Brits Drew Langdon and Jan Falkowski in the #47 SILVERLINE, who had been crawling through the races both days in order to assure a finish and maintain their standing in the points battle, to move into third.
Team SILVERLINE, a Buzzi hull powered by Sterling Marine engines is the only Evolution Class boat to receive a "reliability bonus" of 50 points for having made it through the first half the season using the same set of motors. The bonus points, coupled with their third place finish on Sunday puts SILVERLINE atop the P1 World Championship point standings, despite never having taken a win this season.
Following are the results and point standings from round 6 of the Powerboat P1 World Championship and the Italian Grand Prix of the Sea.
The next round of racing will take place August 7-9 in another historic first as P1 racing takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden for the first time.
Fans can follow the preparations for this historic event, read and listen to the entire season of race coverage by logging on to www.powerboatp1.com .
Italian Grand Prix of the Sea (Round 6)
Endurance Race Result- Evolution Class
1. #88 SNAV OSG (IT)- 100
2. #33 FURNIBO (BEL)- 90
3. #47 SILVERLINE (GBR) - 81
DNF #53 METAMARINE PIGNOL 53 (IT)
DNF #66 CRANFIELDS WINE (DE)
DNF #77 LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER (USA)
DNF #10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER (IT)
Italian Grand Prix of the Sea Race Result- Evolution Class
1. #88 SNAV OSG (IT) - 200
2. #47 SILVERLINE (GBR) - 141
3. #33 FURNIBO (BEL) - 90
4. #10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER (IT) - 90
5. #53 METAMARINE PIGNOL 53 (IT) - 81
6. #66 CRANFIELDS WINE (DE) - 73
7. #77 LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER (USA) - 66
2009 Powerboat P1 World Championship
Standings after 6 rounds - Evolution Class
1. #47 SILVERLINE (GBR) 500-
2. #88 SNAV OSG (IT) - 381
3. #10 CIGARETTE SMASH POKER (IT) - 371
4. #77 LUCAS OIL BUDWEISER (USA) - 337
5. #33 FURNIBO (BEL) - 270
6. #66 CRANFIELDS WINE (DE) - 209
7. #53 METAMARINE PIGNOL 53 - 162
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