Sami Selio earned his first FI win at the Grand Prix Prix of France over the weekend.
Finnish driver Sami Selio earned his first Grand Prix in his 64th start despite battling rough water and losing his power steering at the 18th Grand Prix of France in La Rochelle over the weekend.
“I’m so happy I spent much of the winter in the gymnasium, “said Selio. ” I was beat up and worn out on this six turn two kilometer course. I had a whole host of people chasing me at the same time which made this a very uncomfortable but satisfying event. “
The start of the 50 lap race was a bit confusing with several drivers jumping the start. All eyes were on rookie Ahmed Al Hamli of the Emirates Team who led for the first few laps only to be penalized by UIM officials for jumping the starting lights.
Thani Al Qamzi also of the Emirates team then took over with teammate and number one driver Scott Gillman from California holding onto second place despite a bad case of the flu. He later finished the day runner-up to collect his 55th career podium.
“I’m happy to leave France with this finish because I’ve struggled all weekend with the flu, “said Scott. ” Now we have some valuable time to prepare for the Grand Prix of Singapore in August.”
Swedish driver Jonas Andersson came charging up from starting ninth to place third on a steady drive that pushed Gillman to the last lap in his F1 Team Sweden boat. Fourth went to Qatar driver Jay Price who had a slow start fell to 15th and came charging up to the top-five and picked up nine more valuable championship points for the driver from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Frenchman Philippe Chiappe in the Atlantic team was fifth with his best result of the season while teammate Duarte Benavente of Portugal finished ninth in his Dragon boat after starting 14th.
Russian Stanislov Kourtsenovsky in the other F1 Team Energy boat who started 15th on pole finished sixth on the day in a good run, while Italian rookie Leo Bonelli was seventh in the second Qatar boat. Italian Fabrizio Bocca of the Rainbow team finished a fine eighth after having moved up as far as fifth before dropping down to 12th before battling back in the top-10.
Marco Gambi of the Tamoil team got his first points since Qatar of 2005 finishing tenth while his teammate, multi-time World Champion Guido Cappellini dropped out of the event in third place on the 12th lap officially being classified 20th.
Pole sitter David Trask of Australia and the XPV Racing team was in a fight for a podium finish and the overall lead until his damaged boat that was involved in a collision early on in the event, finally had the steering cable fail so ending his day with just three and a half laps remaining.
As the European area of the 2007 World Formula I Championship comes to a close the next round will take place in Marina Bay in Singapore on the 18th and 19th of August with drivers from four continents expected to take up the next part of the battle for the world title.