ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Monday, 14th of September, 2009 – The U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship may have drivers racing for the world title from three different continents, but two drivers in particular have taken their friendship to a new level and are doing their best to help prove that just because you’re over 40 years old doesn’t mean you still can’t have success in power boat racing.
Philippe Dessertenne, a second generation driver who recently retired as an active member on the world F1 scene and who is now is full time Team Manager of the China CTIC Racing Team, has used his experience in 111 career race starts in F1 this summer to capture the 2009 World Endurance Championship.
The driver from La Rochelle won the prestigious 24 Hours of Rouen in May, followed by the eight hour event at ‘Augustow, Poland, going two for two and winning for his Inshore Drakkar Team managed by his close friend and ex-teammate Philippe Chiappe.
“I have to laugh,” said Dessertenne, “Here I am thinking that in retirement I would slow down, instead I am moving faster than ever and have won a title that keeps me young with my close friend as well. You can’t ask for anything better than this. Now it’s time to get back and focused on getting my F1 team ready for their home Grand Prix in Liuzhou in the next three weeks. Winning there would be a dream come true.”
For Dessertenne’s friend Chiappe, a seven year veteran on the U.I.M. F1 tour and currently eighth in the championship, this summer has been all about the future evolution of the sport. The driver for the F1 Atlantic Team that has accumulated 23 points on the F1 tour, has raced with the four stroke (clean engine), designed to have a low carbon “footprint” in his native France. It’s turned out to be something special, racing along with his 22 year old daughter Fanny, a three year veteran herself, combining to win the French Endurance Championship in the Class 1 Category 4 Class sweeping all the races.
“It was special to race with my daughter,” said Phillipe. “It wasn’t easy since an average meeting started with 25 pilots and each event was three hours in length. Our new David Moore designed boat proved the right choice for us and we were happy reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour (195 kph) with our four stroke engine. It was both a challenge and satisfying at the same time racing with my daughter. Life can’t get any better than this.”
Oddly enough, both Philippe’s have had success off the water where a few years ago in back to back events at the annual “U.I.M. F1 World Championship Bowling Challenge” Dessertenne won the tournament followed the next season with Chiappe taking the event making it a back to back French sweep dominating the competition with athletes from five different continents competing.
The U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship’s next stop of season is to Liuzhou, China where the 2009 calendar sees the competition reaching the halfway point of the season with the seventh and eighth rounds being played out on the banks of the winding Liu River on the sixth and the seventh of October. Phillipe Chiappe, who reached his first career podium at the last event in St. Petersburg, Russia, will be hoping to take it a step further in China and win his first victory joining his close friend Phillipe Dessertenne and the small community of drivers who can call themselves a F1 - race winner!
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