Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis produced yet another faultless performance in Spirit of Norway to win the Spanish Grand Prix on June 6
Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis produced yet another faultless performance in Spirit of Norway to win the Spanish Grand Prix on June 6.
With this, their second consecutive win of the season, the pair now boast an unbeaten run of grand prix success in eight races.
Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama came in second aboard Victory 7 and in third place Italian Edoardo Polli and Jose Corti in Highlander. Edoardo was undeniably the hero of the day, racing with two torn ligaments in his right shoulder.
Gjelsten and Curtis once again virtually led throughout moving ahead at the first turning buoy. From here they opened up a lead to complete the 19 laps, 101.50Nm course in 57mins 58.08secs representing an average speed of 120.04mph/193.15kmh.
“It was important to get to the first corner in front,” said Gjelsten. “We timed the start well and pushed hard early on. We also managed to drift rather than drive though the corners which meant we could maintain our speed and this paid off.” Although Victory 7’s second place was an improvement on their Lisbon result it seemed little consolation for Ali Nasser and Ali Al Qama who had seen their team mates Mohammed Al Marri and Jean Marc Sanchez in Victory 77 retire on the first lap with transmission problems.
“I am not happy with second place. I think we had a good set up but Spirit of Norway has two wins and at the moment are better than us. We need to work hard to improve,” said Ali Nasser.
After tearing two ligaments in his right shoulder on Friday almost preventing him from competing in the Pole Position contest, throttleman Italian Edoardo Polli fought the pain to bring Highlander home in third place giving his new driver Jose Corti a podium place in only his second outing.
“I was okay until tenth lap when the pain killers wore off. From then on it hurt like hell. The conditions were easier than on Pole day but on these short courses there is always some chop. Our set up was okay but maybe we were a little over propped.”
Producing their second impressive run in as many races in their opening season in Class 1 was Bard Eker and Bjorge Jacobsen in Hydrolift who finished fourth and now move into third overall place in the world championship standings.
“I think for us it is a case of giving everything and doing the best we can. Everyone in the team has worked hard to get the boat ready this weekend… we still have a lot to learn but of course we are pleased.”
Giampaolo Montavoci finished fifth with his new driver Domenico Cirilli in GFN Gibellato with Nicola Giorgi and Mauro Esperto completing the top six in Roscioli Hotels. Norweigan duo, Bernhard Bellmann and Jann Hillestad’s suffered a broken drive shaft on the sixth lap. This dashed any hopes of a repeat performance in Pole Position. The race also ended in disappointment for Britain’s Class I newcomer Chris Parsons. Running in third place a blown engine forced Negotiator out on lap seven.
Class 1 World Powerboat Championship Spanish Grand Prix, Alicante Results:
1. Spirit of Norway – 20pts
2. Victory 7 – 15pts
3. Highlander – 12pts
4. Hydrolift – 9pts
5. GFN Gibellato – 7pts
6. Roscioli Hotels – 5pts
Overall Championship Positions:
1. Spirit of Norway – 40pts
2. Victory 7 – 24pts
3. Hydrolift – 16pts
4. Victory 77 – 15pts
5. Negotiator – 12pts
5. Highlander – 12pts
5. GFN Gibellato – 12pts
8. Roscioli Hotels – 5pts