Austrian driver opts for gasoline power

In less than three weeks, Austrian powerboat ace, Hannes Bohinc, will return to one of his favourite venues, Valletta, Malta, for the opening rounds of the 2009 Powerboat P1 world offshore championship, racing for the ItalianOSGRacing Team in a Mercury-powered Outerlimits SV43 alongside team principal, Giancarlo Cangiano. Surprisingly, it will be the first time that Bohinc, one of the most decorated pilots in powerboating, has competed with petrol engines.

“Since my international career took off in 1992, every challenge and every victory has been achieved with diesel engines,” explains Bohinc. “It is a record that I am proud of, I remain loyal to the qualities and character of diesel power but the change is necessary as P1’s rules and circuit layouts favour petrol engines.”

The last time a diesel-powered boat won P1’s Evolution Class was in 2005 when Bohinc and hisWettpunkt.comteam took the honours on the final day of the season. Since then petrol engines have dominated the top category.

“I was impressed with both the speed and responsiveness of the boat when we tested recently,” continues Bohinc. “Speed in and out of turns is essential on P1’s relatively short straights if we are to challenge at the front, and the petrol engines offer this. Malta can’t come fast enough! I love the venue and the people and racing alongside Giancarlo forOSG Racingis an exciting prospect. The last time I competed over a full P1 season was in 2005.”

Whilst the team, the co-pilot, the engines and the boat may have changed since then, Bohinc is hopeful that the end result will be the same.

The Grand Prix of Malta takes place over the weekend of 9/10 May.