Last Updated on 13 June 2011
Jolly Drive on their way to winning the second round of the Malta Ocean Grand Prix, yesterday. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli
It was to be a war of attrition as the boats lined up for the second round of the UIM Malta Ocean Grand Prix, yesterday.
With teams battling sweltering heat and rough waters, the result was adrenaline-fuelled racing from start to finish in both the Evo and SuperSport classes.
In SuperSport, the FPT-powered Jolly Drive boat, of Federico Montanari, Alfredo Zanardo and Giambattista Gabriele, took early command, gaining traction off the line and leading their rivals at the first turn.
Despite a rather slow start, fellow Italians Karelpiu kept the pressure, closing the gap on the lead boat.
The lead then changed hands five times before Karelpiu forged ahead and the race win looked a formality at the half-way stage.
However, this is endurance racing and with the chequered flag almost in sight, driver Giuseppe Schiano di Cola fainted at the wheel, overcome with heat ex-haustion.
With his Fountain boat at a standstill it opened the door to Jolly Drive to take the win although the Valletta Ocean Grand Prix crown was won by Karelpiu who had secured victory in Saturday’s race.
Di Cola recovered swiftly following prompt attention from medics.
The close-fought action continued in the Evo class with Furnibo, piloted by Pierre Colpin and Frank Hemelaar, taking another scintillating win to claim the Grand Prix victory.
The Belgium team had fought hard with Swedish-Americans Lucas Oil throughout, both boats trading the lead on numerous occasions.
The first four laps were nail-biting and a tight finish looked a certainty until Lucas Oils lost power in one engine and were forced to limp home as the German Searex team closed in.
Despite the Hercules Sagemann boat being hampered by ignition problems before the race – causing the team to start from the back of the field – Douglas Verbanck and Siegfried Greve kept a steady nerve to eventually finish the race in second place.
British boat Silverline, of Drew Langdon and Miles Jennings, was forced to retire on the first lap with a broken torque sensor, a disappointing end to their weekend racing.
Attention now turns to Rounds 3 and 4 of the UIM Ocean Grand Prix World Endurance Championship, which takes place in Den Helder, Holland, over the weekend of August 5-7.
Posted in: Events
Last Updated on 14 June 2011
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Posted in: Preferred Partners & Membership