by F1 H2O
Dissatisfied with their fourth and fifth place showing at the season's opening Grand Prix of the 2012 UIM F1 H2O World Championship for powerboating in Doha, last year’s winning World and Team Champions, Qatar Team, has just returned from three days of testing on the Po River in Northern Italy.
Their goal, improving and updating their DAC boats for next month's race in Kazan on the 22nd and 23rd of June.
Both defending World Champion Alex Carella of Italy along with his teammate American Shaun Torrente were their testing and 'tweaking' their latest DAC boat hulls from the race shops of ten-time World Champion Guido Cappellini nearby Como, Italy.
For the youngest World Champion in the four decade history of the sport, Alex, is looking to rebound back on the podium for round two after finishing a disappointing fifth at his team’s home Grand Prix back in early March. He'll be coming in with a lot of confidence considering he took the victory at last year Grand Prix of the Republic of Tatarstan and is hoping to make it two straight.
'It was fantastic that we were able to get almost three days of solid testing in,' said Alex. 'We've learned a few more things about out boats and feel we have made them only faster and this was our goal.'
'Also, it was a treat to have Shaun bring his wife along and with my girlfriend the four of us were able to do some great socializing and bonding. This, I feel, is so important in the long run when it comes to having a true race team 'family'.
For the second year driver from Miami, Florida the feelings were mutual, 'I think this was a giant step for not only Alex and me but for the whole team taking this time to test and do some serious 'bonding' while here in lovely Northern Italy, stated Shaun.'
'My family background is one-half Italian, so the longer I stayed, I almost felt as if this was my second home.'
'Ok, more seriously, this testing trip gave me an opportunity to get in some valuable seat time running many laps on the river in a boat hull I am still learning the 'go fast secrets' of. Above all, however, it gave me a chance to spend more hours with my new team members both in testing mode and socially which was something very special at the end of the day.'
Alex comes to the 13th Grand Prix on Russian soil next month with just 16 career races starts with three Grand Prix victories. The 27 year-old from Piacenza has eight career podiums in the 13 races he has finished along with a world title.
For Shaun, he'll be starting just his eighth Grand Prix with three top-five's in the three races he's completed. A year ago, he earned more rookie points than any one driver on the tour with 16. The two-time North American Champion was second in Kazan behind his new teammate Alex qualifying at a 44.89 second lap with Carella going a 1/100th of second better with a 44.88. Torrente's day ended early with a broken boat while Alex went on to earn his second career victory.
While testing was going on elsewhere around Italy, other members of the UIM F1H2O World Championship family were readying themselves for the unique 24 Hours of Rouen race in France this upcoming weekend.
French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team will once again race in his home town looking for more success while Marit Stromoy of Norway and the Team Nautica effort will take part as well. Both will run boats in the Class 1 division in an event that is now spread out into more than one day rather than the previous 24 hour format.
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