Dry tanks cost Lucus Oil - Outerlimits the race
King of Shaves took its fourth victory of the season in dramatic style to extend its championship lead in the P1 Evolution class, as Lucas Oil – Outerlimits, the race leader, ran out of fuel on the final lap. It was a bitter blow for the American team who knew their championship ambitions depended upon a victory after leading most of the race.
This Zeebrugge, Belgium, event was round nine of the 12 round world championship and the intensity of the contest and the emotions that followed would have left no one in any doubt that the season is into its final stages and the stakes, particularly for those teams in contention for the world title, could not be higher. As predicted, the conditions contributed to a high attrition rate and only two boats completed the course with OSG second despite suffering a broken hull. The Italian entered TheWay to Happiness finished third.
The main protagonists in the Evolution class, King of Shaves, OSG and Lucas Oil – Outerlimits made a strong start all reaching the first buoy together. OSG, the reigning world champion boat, piloted by Giancarlo Cangiano and Giovanni Carpitella knew that to improve their title challenge they would need to finish ahead of championship leaders, King of Shaves. The same could be said of Lucas Oil and both boats set the early pace,OSG taking the lead. Behind them, King of Shaves was settling into an early rhythm and by the end of the first lap throttleman Craig Wilson and driver James Sheppard had superbly taken the Ilmor-powered Fountain into the lead with Lucas Oil – Outerlimits piloted by Joe Sgro and Nigel Hook close behind. Once the Italian OSG backed off a two-boat battle ensued.
It was a fascinating race between these two arch rivals in which the lead changed hands four times before the half way point when Lucas Oil – Outerlimits started to take control. Then drama! As the American boat entered the home straight for the final lap it suddenly slowed as the fuel ran out, King of Shaves re-took the lead with OSG in pursuit.
The win extends King of Shaves championship lead to 140 points over OSG. Whilst the gap is now comfortable it is not unassailable but with just three races remaining, another dramatic twist is required.
Belgian Grand Prix of the Sea
1. – 99 – King of Shaves – British – 100pts
2. – 88 – OSG – Italian – 80pts
3. – 59 – Way to Happiness – Italian – 60pts
57 – Limmi – Belgian – DNF
75 – SIF – Italian – DNF (Wild Card)
76 – Searex – German – DNF
97 – Lucas Oil Outerlimits – American – DNF