C1 Team Abu Dhabi's Ballough and Tomlinsoin close in on world title with third place in race one in Abu Dhabi
TEAM ABU DHABI’S BALLOUGH AND TOMLINSON CLOSE IN
ON CLASS 1 WORLD TITLE AT ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Broken exhaust slows Al-Tayer
Al-Mansoori as T-Bone Station claims Pole Position crown and race one victory
Abu Dhabi, 5 November, 2015: Team Abu Dhabi’s Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson closed in on the team’s first ever UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship title by finishing third in the first of two races at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today.
Outright victory in the seven-lap race staged by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) would have given Ballough and Tomlinson the title, but it was a superb day for the Italian duo of Giovanni Carpitella and Luca Formilli Fendi in T-Bone Station.
After claiming pole position for the race and the 2015 Pole Position crown in the morning, the Italians remain firmly in world title reckoning heading into tomorrow’s final race after holding off a fierce challenge from Victory 3’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi to take the win. They now trail Team Abu Dhabi 6 by eight points heading into the final race of the season.
Victory 3 also have a slim chance of retaining their title, but are 15 points adrift of Ballough and Tomlinson and will need to win the race and hope that their UAE rivals retire.
Australian Darren Nicholson teamed up with Italy’s Matteo Nicolini for the first time in a Victory hull and finished fourth.
Rashid Al-Tayer and Majid Al-Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi 5 were hindered by exhaust problems which saw them start in sixth position and struggle with a loss of power throughout the race. They reached the chequered flag in fifth, a result which cost them their outside chance of taking the title. Christian Zaborowski and Niclas Johansson finished sixth in Energima Zabo Relekta.
Tomlinson said at the finish: “It was a good race, a tough battle out there. The boat ran well. I think we just finished a couple of seconds behind in the end. We’ve just got to see if we can get a bit faster. We’ll look at the points tonight and figure out what we’ve got to do tomorrow. We’ll see where we stand and hopefully we’ll be in good shape for tomorrow.
“We approached this race to try and win it. Obviously that didn’t happen. Now we’ll just work out what we’ve got to do tomorrow. If we’d have won this race we could have clinched it. We’ll try one or two things in tomorrow’s pole position race and see if we can click off some better times.”
Al-Tayer said: “We’re still in third place in the championship and our team-mates are first. Our boat wasn’t good in the rough water. We tried to push but we reached the limit of the boat.
“We broke the exhaust in the pole position race and we didn’t have another modified exhaust so we had to fit a standard one and we lost a lot of speed.
“Tomorrow we will try to do some things with the set-up and if the weather is fine again we will try to push and keep our place in the championship.”
Belgian throttleman Nico Bertels and Russian driver Dimitry Vandyshev claimed claimed pole position for the penultimate V1 race of the season in Bernico-New Star, but lost the advantage on the opening lap.
The Italian crew of Antonio and Giuseppe Di Cola, racing in Karepui RG87, eventually reached the chequered flag well ahead of Silverline to claim the win. Bernico-New Star were third, but Chaudron’s Maltese team of Aaron Ciantar and Dominique Martini retired after two laps.
Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
Victory 3 started the race from pole position with series leaders and title favourites, Team Abu Dhabi 6, in third place behind T-Bone Station and needing the win to confirm the world title with one race remaining.
T-Bone Station managed to edge into a 1.72 second lead over Victory 3 through the opening lap, with Team Abu Dhabi 6 and Victory 7 close behind. Both Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Energima Zabo Relekta were already falling away from the leading quartet.
Carpitella and Fendi managed to extend their lead over Victory 3 to 4.71 seconds through lap two, although Ballough and Tomlinson were beginning to apply pressure on the Victory boat for second place. The leading trio maintained their positions through laps three and four, but Darren Nicholson and Matteo Nicolini began to fall behind in the fourth-placed Victory 7.
T-Bone Station’s advantage over Victory 7 was reduced to just 1.58 seconds after five laps. Ballough and Tomlinson retained a solid third and were nearly 20 seconds ahead of Victory 3. The Italians continued to fend off Victory 3’s challenge through the sixth and seventh laps and headed into lap eight with a tiny 1.69-second advantage.
Further free practice is scheduled in the timetable for 30 minutes from 10.30hrs tomorrow morning and pole position for race two takes centre stage at 11.00hrs. The second race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix draws a curtain on the year’s Class 1 racing and H20 Racing’s tenure as the series promoter from 15.30hrs.
2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race 1 result
1. Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Luca Formilli Fendi (ITA) Fendi Racing T-Bone Station 10 7 laps
2. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (ARE)/Nadir bin Hendi (ARE) Victory Team 3 +1.69sec
3. Gary Ballough (USA)/John Tomlinson (USA) Team Abu Dhabi 6 +4.51sec
4. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Victory Team 7 +33.73sec
5. Majid Al-Mansoori (ARE)/Rashid Al-Tayer (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 +1min 37se
6. Christian Zaborowski (NOR)/Niclas Johansson (SWE) Energima Zabo Relekta 91 +1min 47sec
2015 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship – provisional standings
1. Team Abu Dhabi 6 52 pts
2. T-Bone Station 10 44 pts
3. Victory Team 3 37 pts
4. Team Abu Dhabi 5 31 pts
5. Energima-Zabo Relekta 91 21 pts
6. Victory Team 7 9 pts
Please contact: Khalid Al Saadi, Media Incharge, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, P.O. Box 45656, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Mobile Telephone: + 971 50 768 6761, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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