Ace driver Guido Cappellini grabbed the lead at the start at the Italian Grand Prix at Campione on June 17 and never looked back.
Ace driver Guido Cappellini grabbed the lead at the start at the Italian Grand Prix at Campione on June 17 and never looked back. He went on to score his fourth straight victory of the season which places him firmly at the top of the championship table with 80 points. He is now firmly set to become the world Formula I title-holder for a record sixth time in seven years.
Cappellini immediately moved to the front as fifth pole starter Laith Pharaon of Saudi Arabia slid into second place. American Scott Gillman, the current world title holder, also had a good start climbing from sixth to third on the first lap.
With the top three pushing forward, the race was soon seeing its only yellow flag when both Emirates drivers Awad Al Qubaisi and Tani Al Qamzi crashed after rogue wave caused their boats to spin at the same turning marker. Cappellini once again took the lead after the re-start with Gillman moving past Pharaon into second place before chasing after the leader. The difference between the two drivers was a constant three seconds while Cappellini’s team-mate, Yutaka Sugihara of Japan, closed on the American. It was on the 18th lap when Sugihara’s boat struck Gillman’s outfit forcing him to retire without a single point to his credit.
The Japanese driver lost six places but battled on finally finishing fourth. A constant struggle for the top five positions kept the action lively with Latvian driver Victor Kunitch, Italian Massimo Roggiero Frenchman Philippe Dessertenne and Finnish star Sami Selio constantly switching positions for what remained of the 45 lap event.
The race finished with Kunitch fifth, Roggiero sixth and Dessertenne seventh. Portuguese driver Duarte Benavente came home eighth with Italian Ivan Torta ninth and veteran Italian Franco Leidi filling tenth slot and collecting up the final championship point.
Past world champion Fabrizio Bocca dropped out after 18 laps, while Team Viking had a bad luck day with both drivers, Dane Gert Ladefoged and Italian Fabio Comparato, failing to finish. Brazilian Paul Gaiser, Antonio Feu of Portugal, Briton Andy Elliott and Malaysian driver K.Y. Loi were the final finishers filling 11th through to 15th slots.
This victory leaves Cappellini leading the championship with 80 points. Frenchman Philippe Dessertenne lies second with 49 and Italian Francesco Cantando third two points behind.
World Formula I Championship positions after five rounds:
- G.Cappellini (Ita) 80pts
- P.Dessertenne (Fra) 49pts
- F.Cantando (Ita) 47pts
- M.Roggiero (Ita) 32pts
- L.Pharaon (Sau) 32pts
- S.Selio (Fin) 24pts