Fazza 1 makes it one, two in Rio

Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi completed a hat-trick in Rio after winning the second race of the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. The result gives them a maximum of 40 opening points in the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship and a perfect start to the defence of their 2009 World Championship title.

Fazza 1‘s Mohammed Al Marri and Abdullah Al Mehairbi pushed their teammates all the way to claim another second place finish, with Duemme – Foresti & Suardi‘s all-Italian pairing of Giampaolo Montavoci and Guido Cappellini claiming a first podium, in their inaugral Grand Prix weekend.

The reigning world champions, led from start-to-finish, claiming a tenth race win in only their twelfth race together, a career fourteenth for both. Despite an electrical failure, Al Zafeen and Bin Hendi were able to hold off a determined challenge from their closest rivals and teammates to take the victory, completing the 71.32Nm course in 47mins 16.14secs.
“I am delighted with the result after the problems we had, but sometimes it is nice to drive without the technology to test yourself,” said Bin Hendi, “This is a great start to the season and sets us up perfectly for the next round in Arendal.”

A close race saw Fazza 1‘s Al Marri and Al Mehairbi get within touching distance of their teammates while holding off a strong challenge from Duemme – Foresti & Suardi behind them. Two podiums from the weekend saw them consolidate second place in the championship on 30 points.
“We are very happy to have finished the weekend with two podiums. We got very close to Fazza 3 and pushed hard to overtake, but they always had that little bit extra. To beat them we need some magic.” said Al Marri.

An inspired performance by new-pairing Montavoci and Cappellini in Duemme – Foresti & Suardi saw them claim their first podium together. Moving up from fourth on the grid they briefly held second place as they traded long-laps with Fazza 1. The third place finish, Montavoci’s first podium since Portorose, Slovenia, in 2006, delighted the experienced Italian, who said:
“It feels fantastic to be back on the podium after such a long time. We got very close to Fazza, which is thanks to my new driver [Cappellini] and we will look for more in the next race.”

A spin on lap six of the race prevented Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Nicola Giorgi from pushing for the podium. Their fourth placed finish was well earned and the new pairing will take heart from a good performance by both boat and team, giving them something to build on for the next race.

The World Offshore Championship series now heads to Europe at Arendal, Norway, on July 16-18.

BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX, RACE 2 – results

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

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

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

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

5. Foresti & Suardi – SCAM – F Magnani (ITA) / M Pennesi (ITA)