Mario Invernizzi & Giovanni Carpitella, fight off the early challenge from OSG to secure victory in Italian Grand Prix.
Kerakoll, the Isotta Fraschini-powered boat of Mario Invernizzi and Giovanni Carpitella, fought off the early challenge of OSG to secure victory in the Evolution class competing in the Powerboat P1 Grand Prix of Italy. High winds and waves buffeted the boats throughout as the 19 strong fleet challenged for positions. It was not long before Kerakoll moved into the lead but try as it may, it could not shake off the challenge of the Donzi OSG, piloted by Giancarlo Cangiano and Stefano Cola.
They looked set to take second place before a ‘cooked’ engine forced their retirement just minutes from the finish.
As the race developed there was a battle for the third podium place between Italian boats SIF, Trident, the Austrians Wettpunkt.com and the local heroes Thuraya. Trident was a strong third until OSG retired, promoting the Metamarine craft, of Giuseppe Salvatori, Dario Longo and Maurizio di Stasio, into second slot leaving third place up-for-grabs. This was the spur that Thuraya needed and in a remarkable last lap the Lamborghini- powered craft of Adriano Panatta, Claudio Castellani and Raffaele Giannoni swept passed Wettpunkt to take third place on the day and second place in the Grand Prix.
It was a fitting finale for the team’s trusty craft and engines before Thuraya take delivery of a new boat ready for the next event. For Wettpunkt it was a disappointment not to secure a podium place after promising much but the Austrian team posted a warning to its rivals that the new boat is a force to be reckoned with.
This two-legged Grand Prix is decided by the aggregate points totalled from the two heats and the final classification was an emphatic win for Kerakoll with Thuraya second with the wild card entry, SIF, piloted by Renato Guidi and Vittoria Foglia Manzillo, a creditable third.
SuperSport was won by the Chinese Ocean Dragon Team, the first P1 success for this new British-based team and it was much deserved after leading two previous races until circumstances conspired against them. Pushing them all the way race was the Maltese entered Chaudron which, like the Chinese, saw a change of fortune and with it an excellent second place result. However it was not enough to wrestle the Grand Prix of Italy from the Belgian rookies FORone.
The Offshore Legends sponsored crew of Frank Hemelaar and Benny Schrier were on a mission. They took no chances following their opening victory with a third place in the second race to collect the coveted Grand Prix title. Second place overall went to Italcraft XT, the Iveco-powered Italian outfit with Martin Lai, Paul Williams and Mark Sansom taking third.
The 2006 Powerboat P1 World Championship now travels to Travemunde for the German Grand Prix on July 1-2.
2006 UIM Powerboat P1 World Championship
Grand Prix of Italy – Championship Standings
1. – Kerakoll – 200 ( 10 Bonus)
2. – Thuraya – 120 ( 10 Bonus)
3. – SIF – 90 (Wild Card)
4. – Trident Kiton – 80
5. – OSG Donzi – 80
6. – Wettpunkt.com – 50
1.- FORone – 160 ( 10 Bonus)
2.- Italcraft XT – 110
3.- Ocean Dragon Racing – 100
4.- Carpenter – 100 ( 10 Bonus)
5.- Team Chaudron – 80
6.- Jolly Special – 60
7.- Emmecidue FPT – 50 ( 10 Bonus)
8.- ORTM Allufer – 40 (Wild Card)
9 – Oba Oba Racing – 40
7.- Sarima P1 – 0 (Wild Card)