Defending world champions dominate inaugural race in Brazil

Defending championship contender Fazza 3 led the fleet from start-to-finish to win the opening race of the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The 2009 championship winning boat was uncatchable to to finish over 45 seconds ahead of teammate Fazza 1 to complete a Victory Team one-two, with Welmax finishing in third place.

Fazza 3‘s Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi followed up their Edox Pole Position win earlier in the day with a performance of speed and skill. The perfect start to the defence of their title was made by sealing victory over the 54.94Nm course in 35mins 44.56secs. Bin Hendi, who with Al Zafeen, has now won the season-opener in each of the last three seasons, said,

“It’s the result we wanted. After the start we were comfortable and it was important to begin the season with a win. I like the course, very technical and quite tight, a course for both driver and throttleman particularly as it was a little choppy in places.”

Mohammed Al Marri and Abdullah Al Mehairbi aboard Fazza 1, made a perfect start from third on the grid, passing Welmax to move into second place. From there they held off the challenge from the Norwegians and were rarely troubled as the pair claimed their first second place finish.

“We tried to go for Fazza] 3 at the start, but it just had too much acceleration for us,” said Al Marri, “We then controlled our race and were very happy to take second in the first race of the season.

The all-Norwegian team driving Welmax, piloted by Jorn Tandberg and Kolbjorn Selmer, were satisfied with the final podium place. A sluggish start saw them challenged early on by Team Abu Dhabi, who was a mere 0.16secs behind at the end of the first lap.

However, after both outfits had run their long-laps, Welmax moved ahead and streaked away to start closing in on Fazza 1, but despite their best efforts the Norwegians could not get close enough to make a move for second place, finishing 9.75secs behind.

“We are happy with the podium, but after qualifying in second place, we were hoping we could take them on the inside,” said Kolbjorn, “We then had another chance on the long-laps but got stuck behind Team Abu Dhabi and just couldn’t close the gap.”

Following disqualification from the Edox Pole Position, after setting the fourth fastest time, due to a weight-rule infringement, Duemme – Foresti & Suardi’s Giampaolo Montavoci and Guido Cappellini were forced to start from the back of the grid. A jump start then saw them penalised further with a long-lap penalty, after which they were running in fifth place.

BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX, RACE 1 – results

1. Fazza 3 – A Al Zafeen (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE)

2. Fazza 1 – A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE)

3. Welmax – K Selmer (NOR) / J Tandberg (NOR)

4. Duemme – Foresti & Suardi – G Cappellini (ITA) / G Montavoci (ITA)

5. Team Abu Dhabi – R Al Tayer (UAE) / N Giorgi (ITA)

6. Welmax Alianza – G Manuzzi (SMR) / M Stromoy (NOR)

7. Foresti & Suardi – SCAM – F Magnani (ITA) / M Pennesi (ITA) + 1 lap