Crash filled German Grand Prix

Italian Francesco Cantando notched up his second win of the season in what was to become a crash filled German Grand Prix at Stralsund, on August 3

Italian Francesco Cantando notched up his second win of the season in what was to become a crash filled German Grand Prix at Stralsund, on August 3. Victory leaves him joint championship leader with a total score of 55 points.

Thousands of fans from Eastern Germany and nearby Poland were on the edge of their seats as disaster struck on the first lap when four of the top six star contenders came together.

Italian world champion, Guido Cappellini, who had taken pole position in practice, broke free on the inside lane. But American Scott Gillman, lying second, and Italian Massimo Roggiero, third, was suddenly faced with the overtaking Saudi Arabian driver Laith Pharaon bunching the first corner. Something had to give and it did. Within a split second Roggiero and Pharaon went over the top of Scott Gillman before coming to a sudden stop.

Danish driver Gert Ladefoged then came through the spray crashing sideways into Gillman leaving him with two boats spearing his Dac hull. Fortunately all escaped serious injury. Pharaon’s new hull, the first of the 2004 model DAC was heavily damaged. The crash also knocked Ladefoged out of the race.

After 30 minutes clearing the course, the restart saw Cappellini heading the fleet until the sixth lap when Cantando, back in second place, made an outstanding move, overtaking the Cappellini to lead what remained of the 70-lap event.

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It was on the 13th lap, as Cappellini chased Cantano, that he lapped back marker Julius Leysen from Belgium. Both boats touched causing Leysen to barrel roll. Cappellini survived to push Cantando even harder until the 30th lap when his trim indicator gave a false reading. The boat nose-dived before flipping end over end in spectacular fashion so ending Cappellini’s challenge.

From that point Francesco Cantando cruised to a five second victory with Tani Al Qamzi from the UAE achieving a career best in second place after starting seventh on the grid. Third, 13 seconds later, was taken by Italian Fabio Comparato: a result promoting him to third place on the overall championship table with 37 points. France’s Philippe Dessertenne was fourth after being chased hard by Italian Fabrizio Bocca who finally filled fifth slot.

Russian pilot Stanislav Kourtsenovsky finished a career high in sixth with Massimiliano Moreschi gaining his first championship points seventh. Veteran Franco Leidi came eighth ahead of rookie Christian Jansson from Sweden while rounding out the top ten was English driver Andy Elliott.

The next event of the U.I.M. F1 World Championship tour will be in two months after a summer break in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on the 5th of October and the 3rd Annual Grand Prix of Malaysia.


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