Cappellini Looks For 10th Crown And 5th Win In Abu Dhabi!
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – 4th of December, 2007 – The “Grand Experiment” of bringing U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating to the Middle East dates back 15 years to 1993.
Since that time it has grown from a one race hopeful trial to a four race Middle East “season” that now features in 2007 two races in Qatar and two more in the United Arab Emirates in front of tens of thousands of race hungry fans.
Race winners have come in droves over the years with five different pilots winning multiple times beginning with the races first winner in 1993 with American Felix Serralles. The driver from Ponce, Puerto Rico captured the victory again in 1994 finishing on the podium in all three of his race starts before retiring from the sport.
The leading race winner for the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi is Italian Guido Cappellini who comes into this years event looking for both his 10th World Championship and his 5th win on the waters along the cornice in downtown Abu Dhabi.
The native of Como, currently leads the championship by 15 points over young rival Thani Al Qamzi of the Emirates squad who has a pair of wins in his last four starts, but knows that if Cappellini wins once more here on the cornice the title is all but over for the 29 year old driver and native son of the area.
Cappellini has a fine list of history here. His first victory dates back to 1996 when he won 8 of 9 races that season setting a points record that year with 160 in one season. Others came in 1999, 1996 and his first in 1994. Guido’s latest was last season when he won from the pole during his unsuccessful battle for the world title with Emirates Team driver Scott Gillman who would eventually capture his 2006 ring but who this year be a spectator this time around because of illness. The Los Angeles native has won here in 1997 and 2005.
Other race winners in Abu Dhabi are Welshman Jonathan Jones who won a title in 1998 in one of the history’s most exciting race when both Cappellini and Gillman dropped out of the race while leading handing the title to the multiple time champion. The 48 year-old also won the 1995 event.
Francesco Cantando who is racing this weekend has two of his 11 career victories here winning the 2000 and 2001 events. The native of Milan, Italy will be adding a new teammate this weekend with Marco Gambi returning to the series for the first time since the Grand Prix of France in May.
All in all this race has become a cornerstone to the series with the 15th annual event taking place this Thursday, December 6th and Friday, December 7th on the edge of the Arabian Gulf along the cornice overlooking downtown Abu Dhabi.
With 27 drivers and a host of new faces coming from the United States, Latvia, United Kingdom and Italy Abu Dhabi has become the crossroads for the gathering of the most talented drivers on water in the world and it all is part of the U.I.M. F1 World Championship for powerboating.