Leaderboard closely packed at season climax
Sami Selio of Finland led every second of the 50 lap Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi on Friday to move to within 16 points of Italian front runner Guido Cappellini, who has an even 100 points, with one race to go in the 2007 Formula 1 World powerboat Championship.
The lead driver of the F1 Team Energy squad nosed ahead of the nine-time World Champion in the opening lap and never looked back, setting the fastest lap and going on to win by 11.79 seconds.
“We had everything covered and we were determined to stay at the front and we did it in a perfect display of great preparation by my team,” said the Helsinki driver. “We need to do it again next week and hope we get a little luck at the same time to win the title.”
Cappellini, the native from Como, Italy and lead driver of the Tamoil Team pushed hard for the first few laps but got caught up when local driver Thani Al Qamzi passed him only to drop out on the 15th lap, losing any chance for the title.
Jonas Andersson for F1 Team Sweden became stronger as the race went on and finally got to within 1.5 seconds of Cappellini for the final 20 laps before settling for his second podium of the season. His effort places him seventh in the championship with a score of 24 points.
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Another Swede, Pierre Lundin, finished fourth just missing his third straight podium and solidified his fourth place on the table with 47 points. Pierre was staying close to both Andersson and Cappellini before getting water in his engine in the closing stages and only just making the finish.
Francesco Cantando of the Singha Team put together his best effort of the season with a fine fifth placing for the driver who won back to back here in 2000 and 2001.
Australian David Trask finished sixth in his second best effort of the season. He now sits ninth in the championship with his brother Bob taking 13th at days end.
Englishman Andy Elliott was happy with ninth after qualifying 19th in his first race since the French Grand Prix in May while pushing Kourtsenovsky to the bitter end.
Rounding out the top ten and picking up the final championship point was rookie Ugis Gross of Latvia who showed well after starting 23rd off the dock for the Tamoil Team in his first F1 race since moving from the F2000 World Cup series.
The 2.2 kilometer 8 turn race circuit provided a tough test with drivers failing to finish.
The season finishes off it’s eight race schedule next Friday, December 7 with the Grand Prix of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Two drivers are left battling for the World Championship with Guido Cappellini leading by a 100 to 84 point margin over Sami Selio.