Spirit of Norway's Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis, celebrated the event by winning the Spanish Grand Prix
Spirit of Norway’s Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis, making his 100th Grand Prix appearance, celebrated the event by winning the Spanish Grand Prix in Garrucha. And in front of his home crowd, Spaniard, Domenico Cirilli and Italy’s Giampaolo Montavoci driving Foresti&Suardi-Roscioli Hotels added to their Pole Position success on Saturday by finishing second ahead of Norwegians, Jorn Tandberg and Christian Zaborowski in Jotun.
In a dramatic and at times confusing race run over a shortened 78.71Nm, 19-lap course due to rough seas and with Qatar 95, Qatar 96 and Jotun incurring penalty laps for missing turn-marks, Gjelsten and Curtis, sixth at the end of lap one, waited until the 13th lap before making their move. They hit the front, going on to win with a time of 55mins 03.54secs 18 seconds ahead of the second boat.
“The first corner was mayhem – boats were all over the place,” said Curtis. “The buoy had drifted we got round decided but some ignored it.
“The conditions were tough, very lumpy and all the boats were pushing hard. We lost ground at the start but were up to second by the sixth lap and were catching Jotun when our pit crew radioed they had a penalty, so we hung back knowing we would get the lead.”
Domenico Cirilli and Giampaolo Montavoci delighted the home crowd, producing their best ever result to take second after leading the race for two laps. “I feel fantastic – this was the best place for our team to win,” said Montavoci. “It was a very hard race but the conditions were great for our boat and to finish second and behind Spirit is fantastic – I am very happy.”
After leading for six of the 19 laps mid-race, and despite a penalty lap, Tandberg and Zaborowski brought the Mercury powered Jotun home third so adding to their podium place in the previous race in Doha. “It was very tough out there, but we are very happy to take another podium – every lap was different, the seas were very hard to read.”
Victory 77 slipped back to finish fourth after lying second at the end of lap one, with Qatar 96 and King of Shaves completing the top six.
Spirit of Norway’s win puts Gjelsten and Curtis back in front in the title race, 11 points ahead of Qatar 96 with Qatar 95 in third.
SPANISH GRAND PRIX – results
1. Spirit of Norway – Gjelsten/Curtis 20pts
2. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels – Cirilli/Montavoci 15pts
3. Jotun – Tandberg/Zaborowski 12pts
4. Victory 77 – Al Marri/Sanchez 9pts
5. Qatar 96 – Al Thani/Nicolini 7pts
6. King of Shaves – Sheppard/Parsonage 5pts
7. Victory 7 – Al Suwaidi/Hendi 4pts
8. Qatar 95 – Al Sulaiti/Di Biase 3pts
9. Ceramiche Flaminia – Chillocci/Esperto 2pts
SeveneleveN – Nilsen/Giorgi DNF
1. Spirit of Norway – Gjelsten/Curtis 49pts
2. Qatar 96 – Al Thani/Nicolini 38pts
3. Qatar 95 – Al Sulaiti/Di Biase 30pts
4. Jotun – Tandberg/Zaborowski 28pts
5= Victory 77 – Al Marri/Sanchez 26pts
5= Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels – Cirilli/Montavoci 26pts
7. Victory 7 – Al Suwaidi/Hendi 22pts
8. King of Shaves – Sheppard/Parsonage 18pts
9. Ceramiche Flaminia – Chillocci/Esperto 14pts
10. SeveneleveN – Nilsen/Giorgi 7pts
(Championship points include bonus points allocated to teams for running engines for two consecutive races – one point, per engine, per race)