Gillman & Cappellini Have Huge Crash In Lead Battle!
SINGAPORE, September 18, 2005 – In what turned into a bizarre day on and off the water gave Italian Francesco Cantando his first victory of the season as the native of Milan took home his 11th career win at the 3rd Round of the U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating on Marina Bay in downtown Singapore.
The scheduled 52 lap event around the 1.8 kilometer course started as expected with Guido Cappellini jumping off into the lead from the pole with American Scott Gillman of the Emirates Team following closely in 2nd looking for his third straight win on Marina Bay.
Early into the event on the first lap Belgium driver Julius Leysen crashed just past the start finish line stopping the race and forcing a restart. Cappellini again was holding off Gillman by less than 5 boat lengths with the Emirates Team driver closing. The yellow came out again after Mohammed Al Ali of Qatar stopped just past the start finish on the race line. The restart followed with Gillman this time closing on Cappellini and getting dead level when another yellow came out with a boat again having problems and getting in the way of the traffic.
This time on the restart it was Gillman and Cappellini almost side by side for the next seven laps with finally Gillman taking Cappellini by a nose going into the right hander and as they approached the turn the 8-time World Champion had no where to go with neither driving giving ground forcing Cappellini to go over the top of the current World Champion with Gillman barrel rolling violently to a stop unside down, while Cappellini riding over the top destroying his day with a terrible barrel roll coming to an immediate and lightning fast quick stop in front of a horrified audience of thousands of fans around the race course.
Following the event, the U.I.M. officials ruled that Cappellini caused the accident and was given a red card and thus will be unable to participate in the next round of the championship in Doha, Qatar in November. This will open up the championship with Cappellini failing to get no points in two straight events.
Benefiting from this was Italian Francesco Cantando of the Singha Team who picked up his first victory of the season and his first since the opening round of the 2004 at the Grand Prix of India. Finnish driver Sami Selio finished 2nd with French driver Philippe Dessertenne of the Ligier Sports team taking 3rd and being the only driver in the last three years since arriving back to Singapore to finish every year on the podium.
The officials restarted the event and got in 8 more laps before a time limit stopped the event with a total of 18 laps run forcing the officials to give out one-half points in the event.
Italian Fabio Comparato was 4th; Laith Pharaon of Saudi Arabia was 5th; Australian David Trask was 6th; Italian Massimo Roggiero was 7th; Luigi Roberto of Italy was 8th; Rolf Sunde of Norway was 9th and rounding out the top 10 was Thani Al Qamzi of the Emirates Team.