Cappellini Crumbles Once Again In The Emirates; Price 2nd; Trask 3rd!
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates - 14th of December, 2007 – For the first time in 8 years, the name on the U.I.M. F1 World Championship Trophy for world champion will have neither Scott Gillman or Guido Cappellini on it's face as Finnish star Sami Selio went out and made a statement to day letting the field know that he is the driver of “new era” by taking the title while winning his 2nd straight in the Emirates and his 3rd of the year taking the 2007 title by four points 104-100.
Guido Cappellini, the old “grey fox” came into the event with a great shot at gaining his 10th overall title in his 18th year of racing, needing to only place 6th or better, but he ran into his same bad luck that has plagued him for 5th time in 6 years, failing to finish, this time with a blown engine and ending his season again in tears on the 39th of the 50 scheduled laps.
“I woke up this morning not so sure I could get both a victory and have Guido have bad luck to complete my dream of a world title,” said Sami. “It's unbelieveable but at the same time I have to thank all the people who have believed in me over the years including my sponsors and crew that have steered me to this ultimate moment. This, hopefully will be the start of a long and close friendship with the championship trophy.”
While the “Finnish Flyer” was out front extending his lead to 29 seconds at one point, a royal battle for the podium position behind him was heating up with Jay Price of the Qatar Team fighting his way from 6th off the dock and agressively moving past everyone except Selio to finish just 2.41 seconds behind at the end of the day. The native of New Orleans, Louisiana earned his 2nd career runner-up position and his third overall podium to end the season in a good way for the start of 2008 scheduled opening event in Doha in just 3 months time.
Taking 3rd and his 2nd podium of his career was Australian David Trask as the XPV Racing driver pushed hard all race after starting 5th getting passed only by Price to finish the season with 31 points and 7th in the championship.
Emirates Team drivers Thani Al Qamzi and Ahmad Al Hameli came home in tandum 4th and 5th in less than new boats as the winner of last years event Al Qamzi just missing the podium for the first time while running at the end. The Abu Dhabi native finished 3rd in the championship with 79
points. Al Hamli was 10th with 18 points.
French driver Philippe Chiappe of the Atlantic Team was 6th and had a great battle with Cappellini for many laps and finished the year with a statisfying 8th position in the championship with 29 points for his best season in F1.
Swedish driver Pierre Lundin ended a wonderful campaign with a 7th after starting a lowly 21st off the dock after his boat was destroyed in yesterday's practice. His push for his 4 championship points gave him enough to finish 4th overall with 51 points, 4 ahead of Jay Price's 47 who took 5th.
Marit Stromoy of the F1 Team Sweden was the first women in decades to earn championship points with her fine 8th position after starting 20th and she hopes to continue her good racing into the 2008 season.
Veteran Englishman Andy Elliott had a wild day taking 9th after starting 16th, running over a turn buoy that some other driver hit, pitting in the process before coming back out to take two points in the event finishing 20th in the championship despite just 3 race starts.
The 10th and final driver to take a championship point was the only Italian driver in the top 10 in Singha Team driver Franco Leidi earning his first point of the season after starting 22nd.
The only accident of the race came early in the first lap when ex-World Champion Fabrizzo Bocca of the Rainbow Racing team crashed out on the north side of the race course barrel rolling to a stop and ending his season in 12th place in the championship with 15 points.
The 8th month journey for the U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating began in Portimao, Portugal in May and ended in the late afternoon darkness in December with a new driver enjoying the taste of the World Championship glory, Sami Selio. The 31 year-old native of Helsinki, will now join 9 other drivers in the select group that can be called “World Champion”.
Congratulations to the nine year, 70 race journey that has brought Sami his lifelong dream.
The start of the 2008 campaign for the U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating will begin in March in Doha, Qatar.