Spirit of Norway returns a perfect performance to win the Slovenian Grand Prix.

Spirit of Norway’sBjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis produced a perfect performance to win the Slovenian Grand Prix in Portorose. It was the crew’s third success of the season giving them the European Championship for the fourth time.

It was a polished performance by the Anglo-Norwegian pairing who hit the front immediately to control the 20-lap, 95.16Nm race to win by a clear 15 seconds The team completed the race in 56mins 14.20secs returning an average speed of 183.45secs/114.01mph.

“We knew that the start would be the most important factor – we had a plan and we got it absolutely right,” said Bjorn Gjelsten. “It may have looked easy – but it wasn’t. It was hard to be consistent out there because of all the wakes – so picking the right line was almost impossible. It was a very fast pace right from the flag and at times we hit speeds in excess of 160mph (270kmh).”

Spirit of Norway’smain rivals for both the World and European titles, Mohammed Al Marri and Jean Marc Sanchez inVictory 77were unable to make any impression on the leaders after a poor start, coming home in second place.
“The start was not good and we didn’t seem to have the power. By the time the engines picked up, our race was over and the title lost,” said Al Marri. “Now we are looking forward to racing in Dubai and to challenging for the World title.”

Coming home in an impressive third place wereForesti&Suardi-Roscioli Hotels, with Giampaolo Montavoci and Domenico Cirilli taking their second podium of the year.
“All weekend we have been limited by lack of propellers, so to finish on the podium is a great performance,” said Montavoci. “Today we were very consistent, one of the best races for me and Mimmo and for Dubai we will have three new sets of propellers.”

Qatar 95’sAbdullah Al-Sulaiti and Lino Di Biase were the highest placed of the Mercury powered outfits, finishing fourth after seeing their team-mates retire on lap five, with Jorn Tandberg and Christian Zaborowski salvaging fifth place after returning to the wet pits to change a broken propeller, and take third place overall in the European Championship.

A broken engine endedCeramiche Flaminia’srace on lap 10, withVictory 7retiring on lap eight when a supercharger belt broke.SeveneleveNwas a non-starter.

Spirit of Norway’swin extends their lead in the World Championship to 14 points, sitting on top spot with 95 points, withVictory 77in second place andJotunin third with two races to go.

SLOVENIAN GRAND PRIX – RESULTS

1. Spirit of Norway – Gjelsten (NOR)/Curtis (GB)

2. Victory 77 – Al Marri (UAE)/Sanchez (FR)

3. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels – Montavoci (ITA)/Cirilli (ESP)

4. Qatar 95 – Al Sulaiti (QAT)/Di Biase (ITA)

5. Jotun – Tandberg (NOR)/Zaborowski (NOR)

Ceramiche Flaminia – Chillocci (ITA)/Leppala (FIN) DNF

Victory 7 – Hendi (UAE)/Al Suwaidi (UAE) DNF

Qatar 96 – Al Thani (QAT)/Nicolini (ITA) DNF

SeveneleveN – Giorgi (ITA)/Nilsen (NOR) DNF

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS – FINAL POSITIONS

1. Spirit of Norway – Gjelsten (NOR)/Curtis (GB) 67pts

2. Victory 77 – Al Marri (UAE)/Sanchez (FR) 64pts

3. Jotun – Tandberg (NOR)/Zaborowski (NOR) 51pts

4. Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels – Montavoci (ITA)/Cirilli (ESP) 45pts

5. Qatar 95 – Al Sulaiti (QAT)/Di Biase (ITA) 37pts

6. Victory 7 – Hendi (UAE)/Al Suwaidi (UAE) 25pts

5. Qatar 96 – Al Thani (QAT)/Nicolini (ITA) 24pts

8. Ceramiche Flaminia – Chillocci (ITA)/Leppala (ITA) 15pts

9. SeveneleveN – Giorgi (ITA)/Nilsen (NOR) 10pts

10. King of Shaves – Parsonage (GB)/Sheppard (GB) 9pts

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS – after round 6 of 8

1. Spirit of Norway – Gjelsten (NOR)/Curtis (GB) 95pts

2. Victory 77 – Al Marri (UAE)/Sanchez (FR) 81pts

3. Jotun – Tandberg (NOR)/Zaborowski (NOR) 65pts

4. Qatar 95 – Al Sulaiti (QAT)/Di Biase (ITA) 62pts

5= Foresti & Suardi-Roscioli Hotels – Montavoci (ITA)/Cirilli (ESP) 55pts

5= Qatar 96 – Al Thani (QAT)/Nicolini (ITA) 55pts

7. Victory 7 – Hendi (UAE)/Al Suwaidi (UAE) 42pts

8. Ceramiche Flaminia – Chillocci (ITA)/Leppala (ITA) 27pts

9. King of Shaves – Parsonage (GB)/Sheppard (GB) 22pts

10. SeveneleveN – Giorgi (ITA)/Nilsen (NOR) 15pts

(Championship points include bonus points allocated to teams for running engines for two consecutive races – one point, per engine, per race)