….. and a slide show with some of the action!
Well it has been certainly an eventful 24 hours for the team, in that, when we arrived here yesterday, we where concerned that if we put the boat in the water, perhaps it might turn blood red because the paint still wasn’t dry!
However, after a short lap to give the engines a run, we packed up for the night in preparation for today.
We did several laps in this mornings practice really just to give everything a good shakedown and entered the race confident that despite the fact the boat took a severe thumping in China, everything was in order and running well.
At the outset, and because we had not participated in yesterdays ‘Pole Position’, we had to start at the back of the pack and where always going to be chasing. However, with a brilliantly timed run down the start shute, Christian and Ugur came over the line already up to 4th out of a field of 8 boats
And no sooner had Victory crossed the line after the first lap, than they spun out in turn one and the race was red flagged – but after a restart, and more nose to tail racing, by the end of the race, #91 was in 2nd place!
Here are some photos from earlier today, and I’ve included others from the last 48 hours… YES! only 48 hours!!!!
Truth be told, we where planning for tomorrows race 2 to seriously open the throttles and making today’s race more of a reliability test after the ‘trauma’ the boat experienced in China, but Christian and Ugur set an early pace that remained extremely consistent that held off anyone behind, and brought pressure to bear on those in front to stay in front… and to which ultimately, they couldn’t do!
It’s going to be late tonight or early tomorrow before I get some video of todays events, but as soon as I get it, I’ll upload it here to the website.
But for the meantime, here are some highlights from yesterdays practice, Pole Position and our dip in the water.
To play the video, just scroll over the picture to the right and press play. Enjoy:
Tuesday, 11 June, PENDIK-ISTANBUL (Turkey): Fifteen years after the Jolly Motor crew of Massimo Lippi and Lamberto Leoni won the first Class 1 Grand Prix to be held in Istanbul in 1998, the Championship returns for the UIM Class 1 Isiklar Turkish Grand Prix, the second event of the season, and this time to race across the Bosphorus in Pendik [14-16 June] on the Marmara Sea.
All eyes will be on the Turkish-Norwegian duo of Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski to see if the repairs carried out on their Victory built, Mercury powered Zabo-Isiklar will give them the same firepower and opportunity to continue where they left off in China, and carry the fight to Victory and go one better than their second places in qualifying and in race 1 in Sanya in March.
With the ship carrying the boats from China only arriving in Istanbul at the end of May the team has faced a race against time to repair the extensive damage sustained in their dramatic first corner crash in race 2 [in Sanya], and be ready for driver Ugur Isik’s home Grand Prix.
However, team principal Jan Zaborowski is confident that with the comprehensive pre-repair work and preparation that they carried out in Norway, and with the time that they have spent on the boat in Turkey, they will be in good shape to build on what was the team’s best overall performance since Isik and Zaborowski teamed-up in 2011 in Abu Dhabi.
1. 3 Victory Team – 40pts 2= 10 LFFendi10 – 24pts 2= 7 HUB Team Australia – 24pts 4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi – 16pts 5. 91 Zabo-Isiklar – 15pts 6. 23 FA.RO.ACCIAI – 12pts. 7. 74 Poliform – 5pts
EDOX POLE POSITION CHAMPIONSHIP
1. 3 Victory Team – 20pts 2. Zabo-Isiklar – 15pts 3. HUB Team Australia – 12pts 4. LFFendi10 – 9pts 5. Team Abu Dhabi – 7pts 6. FA.RO.ACCIAI – 5pts 7. LFFendi8 – 4pts
Lining-up as race favourites will be Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri who will be looking to extend their lead in the Championship standings and try to emulate the successes achieved by previous Victory pairings in Turkey; Ali Nasser and Randy Scism taking the chequered flag in Istanbul and in Bodrum in 1999 – Nasser winning again in Istanbul the following year with Khalfan Harib – Mohammed Al Marri winning with Saeed Al Tayer in Marmaris also in 2000.
The last event to be held in Turkey was in Izmir in 2002 and won by Spirit of Norway’s Bjorn Rune Gjelsten and Steve Curtis, and of the present day class of 2013 only Mohammed Al Marri, Giampaolo Montavoci and Ugur Isik have raced on Turkish waters.
The defending Champions are on a six-race winning streak, are unbeaten in their last four outings in qualifying and following their Sanya Grand Prix win-treble in the season-opener in March, sit 24-points clear of LFFendi10 and HUB Team Australia. Al Zaffain and Al Marri top the Victory Team’s all-time winners table with 34 and 24 wins respectively, with five-time World Champion Al Zaffain now equal with Bjorn Rune Gjelsten and closing in on Steve Curtis’ longstanding record of 42 wins.
Two outfits who will be looking to challenge Victory and Zabo-Isiklar in Pendik-Istanbul are Italians Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella in LFFendi10 and Australians Darren Nicholson and Ross Willaton in HUB Team Australia. They enjoyed a herculean scrap and podium success in Sanya, both outfits running Victory built boats – the Italians running SCAM V12 power-plants the Aussies Victory V12s.
In race 1 the Aussies attacked and the Italians defended for six of the 10 laps – the gap never more than five seconds – but the LFFendi10 crew hung on to finish in third and take revenge on the Australian crew who had knocked them off the podium in qualifying. They continued their dice in race 2, but the Australian duo was able to turn the tables on their Italian rivals to go on and take their second podium of the weekend – the Fendi crew settling for another third. Formilli Fendi and Carpitella will start their 13th Grand Prix together looking for their first win from 20 race starts, with Carpitella starting his 50th race. The team has also confirmed a revised line-up in their second boat, LFFendi8, with Italian Marco Pennesi, who made his Class 1 debut in Arendal in 2007 and last raced in Brazil in 2010, joining countryman and series newcomer Alfredo Amato who made his Class 1 debut in Sanya alongside Miles Jennings.
Team Abu Dhabi’s recent driver reshuffle takes another twist in Istanbul with the team confirming a revised line up, recalling Class 1 regular Rashed Al Tayer to resume race duties alongside rookie, Faleh Al Mansoori. Al Tayer missed the season-opener in China but returns to start his 14th Grand Prix and for the first time in 24 race starts in Class 1 will switch over to take the throttles as he looks to add to his tally of three wins, eight podiums and one pole position. In Sanya newcomer [Faleh] Al Mansoori partnered Giampaolo Montavoci in qualifying to finish a very credible fifth and then went on to race with Tomaso Polli to take fifth and fourth spots and put the team into fourth place overall in the points table.
Team D’Alessio-SCAM has yet to confirm their line up and whether or not they will stay with Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini for a sixth Grand Prix start together. The duo enjoyed a solid season-opener last time out picking up five points in qualifying and matched the position with sixth in race 1. They enjoyed a solitary run and untroubled race 2 maintaining fifth place throughout, and once again proved their reliability completing their sixth straight points finish in FA.RO. ACCIAI.
DAC Racing has revealed that Turkish driver Tarik Oktem will make his Class 1 debut in Istanbul alongside Giampaolo Montavoci in Poliform. Montavoci, a veteran of 102 Grands Prix and 113 race starts, showed and proved his versatility in Sanya, jumping in and out of two different boats to guide two rookies on their Class 1 debuts, racing with Al Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi in qualifying and with Salim Al Adidi in races 1 & 2 in Poliform, picking up points with both.
The action on the water starts with first official practice on Friday (14) morning followed by official qualifying in the Edox Pole Position in the afternoon. Two further practice sessions are followed by races 1 & 2 on Saturday and Sunday at 15.30hrs (local).