Victory and Chaudron a class apart and take Race 1 honours - U.I.M. Class1 World Powerboat Championship 2014 - Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
Thursday, 4 December, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi moved to within one point of a 14th World title for Dubai's Victory Team following an emphatic win in race 1 of the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
Their superiority was mirrored in V1 by Malta's Team Chaudron whose win moved them 12 points clear in the overall standings and one step closer to the World title.
Starting from pole after clinching the Pole Position Championship in the morning the Victory pairing stormed into the lead and go 12 seconds clear of New Star-Poliform at the end of lap 1, with Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in LFF8-Silverline in third. But their race ended two laps later when the escape hatch in the hull blew out.
By mid-race Victory had opened up a 35 second margin and went on unchallenged to close out the eight lap race and take their fourth chequered flag of the year to win by 79 seconds. "We really pushed at the start to open up the gap and then we were able to control the race and our pace," said Bin Hendi. "After the race in Terracina it was important for us to win and especially at home in the UAE."
Behind them New Star-Poliform led the processional chase ahead of Relekta-Zabo-Isiklar and Team Abu Dhabi but neither outfit had any answer to the pace of the leaders and the podium places looked to settled. But on lap 6 New Star-Poliform slowed, a broken water pump belt ending Mikhail Kitashev and Guido Cappellini’s challenge.
With New Star-Poliform out, Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski went on to take their fourth podium of the year and keep their title hopes flickering, with American’s Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson finishing in third for Team Abu Dhabi.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella in LFF10 whose hopes of any challenge for a podium finish ended almost immediately when an engine stopped, forcing them to shut down the other engine to reboot the system.
From lying in 10th place overall at the end of lap 1 the Italians recovered to force their way up through the pack to take fourth and move into third overall in the Championship standings.
In an equally processional afternoon for the V1’s, Aaron Ciantar and Dominique Martini staked their claim on the Championship, cruising home untroubled and unchallenged in Chaudron with a lap to spare. "It was quite rough on the outside for the start but our boat is good in these conditions," said Aaron Ciantar. "For most ofthe race we were able to keep up a good speed and take the turns at full throttle. Now we will try to win the title."
After a late disqualification from third place in qualifying and forced to start from the back, Nico Bertels and Frank Hemelaer recovered well to finish second in Bernico-New Star, with Stefano Bonanno and Maurizio Schepici bringing Tommy One home in third.
Fourth place for Aquasport’s Daniel Camphorn and Nico Huybens keeps them in the hunt for the title, with Hercules Sagemanns’ Andreas Podolsky and Udo Gross finishing in fifth ahead of Ian Blacker and Drew Langdon who limped home in an ailing Silverline to take points in sixth.
Giuseppe and Antonio Schiano's hopes of carrying their challenge for the title into the final day ended when Karelpiu failed to make the start of race 1 after damaging an engine after a spinout in qualifying.
Tomorrow’s qualifying for the final race of the season takes place at 10.30hrs [local] with the race at 15.30hrs. Only a calamity can stop Victory from lifting the C1 crown, with the fight for the title in V1 between Chaudron, Aquasport and Tommy One.
For further Championship information, timings and results visit; class-1.com
Photo : © Raffaello Bastiani / H2O Racing