Qatar and Victory will lead the challenge to end Spirit of Norway's run of five consecutive Grands Prix and six consecutive Pole Position wins, as the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship heads to Trondheim, Norway for the first of two races in eight days, the Chess Norwegian Grand Prix on Sunday, 7 August.
Qatar and Victory will lead the challenge to end Spirit of Norway’s run of five consecutive Grands Prix and six consecutive Pole Position wins, as the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship heads to Trondheim, Norway for the first of two races in eight days, the Chess Norwegian Grand Prix on Sunday, 7 August. Spirit of Norway’s Bard Eker and Steve Curtis dispelled any rumors that a driver change would upset the team’s rhythm and threw down the gauntlet, taking pole and race honours at Plymouth but can expect a fierce onslaught from a clutch of boats as the battle for supremacy moves to the Norwegian fjords.
Round two also gives those teams frustrated by problems in Plymouth the opportunity to kick start there seasons and post points. Roscioli Hotels’ team owner/manager, Gianni Giorgi has confirmed that the recurring problem with their fuel tank has been resolved and that Nicola Giorgi and Tomaso Polli will run the Cougar with upgraded engines and he expects to see an improvement in performance. After suffering the cruelest of blows in Plymouth, when a broken transmission prevented them from making the start line, Giampaolo Montavoci and Domenico Cirilli have spent the last two weeks working round the clock to repair GFN Gibellato.
The Australian Class 1 Champions, Bill Barry-Cotter and Peter McGrath will be intent on making up lost ground and on challenging strongly after being thwarted by an oil pressure warning light, caused by a telemetry problem that forced them to
shut down Maritimo on lap 1 in Plymouth.
Qatar and Victory field the same line-ups in Trondheim, and whilst the more
established crews of Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini in Qatar 96 and Mohammed Al Marri and Jean Marc Sanchez in Victory 77, both on the podium in Plymouth, have the pace to post the immediate and most likely threat to Spirit of Norway, attention will also focus on Qatar 95 and Victory 7. Both crews produced impressive showings on their partnership debuts, with Al Sulaiti and Biase taking fifth and Victory Team’s reserve drivers, Hindi and (Rashid) Al Marri, standing in for Al Qama and Nasser, running strongly in the top five before retiring.
Chris Parsonage and Randy Scism enjoyed a solid first outing together taking fourth and will be hoping to maintain their challenge and have made one or two adjustments to Negotiator’s trim settings with one or two alterations in the cockpit to suit Scism’s style. And Jotun’s Class 1 debutants, Tandberg and Zaborowski will be aiming for a repeat performance after an excellent sixth last time out, running the Mercury HP 1075sci.
There is little to separate the leading protagonists in terms of performance and the 18-lap, 93.94Nm course is a testing one and presents the teams with a dilemma in terms of set up and whether or not to go for top end performance to gain the maximum advantage on the two straights, or to opt for acceleration to accommodate the four tight turns. And again – as in Plymouth – the long lap may well play a vital role in terms of race outcome.