Second consecutive win in Germany for Spirit of Norway

Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis in the Lamborghini powered Spirit of Norway produced an emphatic performance to win the German Grand Prix

Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis in the Lamborghini powered Spirit of Norway produced an emphatic performance to win the German Grand Prix in Travemunde with Victory 7 taking second place and Highlander in third.

The Anglo-Norwegian pairing led the race from the start to make it two wins in a row, their 15th Grand Prix win overall, completing the 17-lap, 95Nm course in 1hr 00.10secs at an average speed of 108.28mph/174.25kmh.

“It was important to get a good start and we did but we were pushed very hard at the beginning by Victory 7 and Highlander,” said Gjelsten. “We were first into the corner and had the boat trimmed perfectly. From then on we managed to open up a good lead. The conditions were very tricky. It was very rough and we had one or two moments but Steve did a great job on the throttles.”

Ali Al Qama and Ahmed Al Tayer, making his Class 1 race debut, rounded off a very good weekend bringing the Victory-V12 engined Victory 7 home in a comfortable second place.

“We were a little short on propeller and the conditions were very tricky. In some places it was rough but on the inner leg it was calm and then the wind started to pick up, but it is the same for everyone,” said Al Qama. “Where we lost time was on the corners and after 17-laps it adds up.”

Also completing a good weekend and taking their second race podium of the season were Italians Edoardo Polli and Lamberto Leoni in Highlander.

“It was very rough and maybe we were a little too long on propeller but it is only my second race in five years so I am happy,” commented Lamberto Leoni. “I don’t think it was possible to do any better. I am still getting used to the boat and it may be one or two more races before I risk a bit more.”

With the race leaders out on their own Maritimo Offshore, Jotun and Victory 77 were involved in their own three-way tussle. Bill Barry-Cotter and Peter McGrath had been looking comfortable in third spot when the escape hatch in the hull opened and started to let in water. They were caught first by Highlander, then Jotun and Victory 77 with the Australian-New Zealand pairing eventually finishing fifth. Jann Hillestad and Bernhard Bellmann moved into fourth place, but a mechanical problem with the left engine on the 12th lap ended their race, handing fourth position to Saeed Al Tayer and Mohammed Al Marri in Victory 77.

Sixth place went to Kristian Tzanov and Giovanni Carpitella in Damas, seventh to Giampaolo Montavoci and Mauro Esperto in GFN Gibellato with Jotun classified eighth.

Gjelsten and Curtis’ second consecutive win of the season extends their lead in the Superfund Class 1 World Powerboat Championship to 13-points as the teams head to Plymouth, England for round three on July 27.


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