In the Isklar Turkish Grand Prix, HUB Team Australia’s Darren Nicholson and Ross Willaton produced a spectacular performance in testing conditions to win a dramatic and incident-filled opening race.
Starting just their third race together in their second Grand Prix in Class 1, Nicholson and Willaton mastered the choppy and tricky seas that spectaculary caught out defending World Champions Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri, spinning out early in the race to bring out the red flag and force a re-start.
Turkey’s Ugur Isik and Norway’s Christian Zaborowski repaid their team’s efforts to repair Zabo-Isiklar in time after their crash in race 2 in the season-opener, taking a brilliant second place after initially starting in eighth place, to finish ahead of Class 1 newcomers Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in LFFendi8.
After winning the drag race to the first turn, pole-sitters Al Zaffain and Al Marri led the Australian duo and LFFendi10’s Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella at the end of the start lap, but at the second turn of lap 2 hooked the boat and spinning out.
Luckily the boat suffered little damage and the Championship leaders’ were able to line up for the re-start.
HUB Team Australia led from the re-start and traded places with LFFendi10 and Victory after the intial bout of short laps, resuming the lead on lap 4, only to be passed by Victory a lap later, with LFFendi10 now third.
But on lap 6 Victory hooked and spun out again and stopped, but this time were unable to get one engine re-started, retiring from the race.
The Australians swept into the lead and for the next four laps were able to maintain a comfortable 10-second lead over LFFendi10, when on lap 11 their [Formilli Fendi and Crapitella] hopes of a certain podium ended, a damaged torque sensor ending their race.
Nicholson and Willaton were able to ease up and close out the race in 40mins 2.83s, becoming the first Australians to win since 2002.
Behind the battle at the front, Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski steadily moved up and through the field, moving from eighth to fourth before the red flag. A poor re-start saw them down in fifth, then move up to fourth on lap 6 after passing Team Abu Dhabi and LFFendi8.
The exits of Victory and LFFendi10 elevated the Turkish-Norwegian duo to second place and a well deserved podium.
After a frustrating debut outing in China, Miles Jennigs and Alfredo Amoto produced a more than impressive performance, maintaining a middle order position throughout the race, keeping a hard charging Team Abu Dhabi behind them in the closing stages, to complete the podium.
Despite taking the chequered flag in fourth place, Team Abu Dhabi’s Faleh Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer were later disqualified for re-passing a turn mark after hooking the boat and spinning out, their disqualifaction elevating Class 1 debutant, Tarik Oktem, and Giampaolo Montavoci in Poliform to fourth place ahead of Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini in FA.RO ACCIAI.
Today’s win moves HUB Team Australia’s Nicholson and Willaton to the top of the Championship standings on 44 points, with Victory in second place and Zabo-Isiklar in third.
Turkish Grand Prix – Race 1- Results
1. 7 HUB Team Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) – 40.02.83
2. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 51.45s
3. 8 LFFendi8 - Miles Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) + 02.10.00s
4. 74 Poliform – T Oktem (TUR) / G Montavoci (SUI) + 02.48.00s
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 1 lap
10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) - dnf
3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - dnf
5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dq
World Championship - After Race 3
1. 7 HUB Team Australia - 44pts 2. 3 Victory Team - 40pts 3. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - 30pts 4.10 FFendi10 - 29pts 5. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 19pts 6. Team Abu Dhabi - 16pts 7. 74 Poliform 14pts 8. 8 LFFendi8 12pts
Class 1 website
by Class One
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7:12 PM Sat 15 Jun 2013GMT
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