A faulty gearbox followed by a blown engine robbed Britain's Steve Curtis of any chance of making powerboat history by winning a fourth world Class I (16 litre) offshore championship.
A faulty gearbox followed by a blown engine robbed Britain’s Steve Curtis of any chance of making powerboat history by winning a fourth world Class I (16 litre) offshore championship.
The penultimate round of this year’s series in Fujairah, UAE, was later won by local team, Khalfan Harib and Ali Nasser, who drove their 1800hp diesel powered Victory I (Victory/Seatek) home at an average of 99.81mph. Regardless of the outcome of final round in Dubai on Friday (Nov 10), this result now gives them the 2000 Class I (16 litre) world championship with a total score of 112 points.
The pair finished a little over a minute ahead of fellow Victory Team members, Saeed Al Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri in Victory 7 (Victory/Lamborghini) who lay second in the championship.
Norwegian Andreas Ugland and Jan Hillestad filled third slot in Jotun (Tencara/Seatek) – one of their best results of the season – but this had little effect on their championship position halfway down the table on a score of 41 points.
Curtis, driving Spirit of Norway (Tencara/Lamborghini) with owner Bjorn Gjelsten, was lying second when the breakdown occurred. A win here could have left the outcome of the championship resting on the final Dubai round but their retirement now confirm Harib and Nasser as champions by a margin of 41 points.
As if consolation, Steve Curtis set the fastest time in the pre-race time trials.
The three-time world offshore champion, driving Spirit of Norway, covered the measured course in 2min 22.05 secs representing a speed of just under 150mph.
Curtis was fastest on the day after Harib and Nasser suffered last minute mechanical problems. The Arab pair were sixth fastest with a time of 2min 33.99secs but still added the overall time-trial championship to their world Class I title on points aggregate.
World Class I (16 Litre) Championship
Overall points positions with one round remaining
1. Victory 1 K.Harib/A.Nasser (UAE) 112pts
2. Victory 7 S. Al.Tayer/M.Al Marri (UAE) 71pts
3. Spirit of Norway B.Gjelsten/S.Curtis (Nor/GB) 69pts
4. Jolly Motor K.Rokke/J.Dyke (Nor/USA) 60pts
5. Binautica R.Biancalana/C.Dionisio (It) 47pts
6. Riviera B.Barry-Cotter/K.Hanson (Aust) 41pts