ABU DHABI - (Saturday, February 25, 2012) - A new page in the history of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship Series is about to be turned with the long awaited arrival of South Africa's Caudwell Racing and their 4-stroke Infinity 3.5 litre dual overhead cam base engine to Doha, Qatar for the opening round of the championship for the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar on the ninth and 10th of March.
The effort, which centers around a "revolutionary" new idea to F1 racing, has a power-plant developed and designed with racing components from Cosworth Racing, Xtrac and Gemini Transmissions. Together, this has helped produce a viable power-plant mated to a unique transmission for an engine that will be able to run as high as 8,500 rpm in race trim. With this new technology, Caudwell is hopefully looking to give a real challenge to the current Mercury Racing 2-stroke 450 horsepower EFI engines that have been the standard for most of a decade.
"We are coming into the UIM F1 H2O series in a very respectful and professional way," stated Kevin Delaney who is the both the Team Manager and Team spokesperson for the project. "We realize we have a lot to learn in this challenge but we expect to compete right away and get better as the season goes along. Durability and improved environmental performance are our focus as we introduce this 4-stroke technology to the sport. At the same time, we hope our efforts will bring new engine manufacturers into F1 as we break new ground on this ultimate level of international powerboat racing."
New rules were developed with the introduction of this very unique set-up as the UIM (Union of International Motonautique) based in Monaco has allowed the Caudwell boats to be running at the start pontoon at 2,000 rpm and use their launch control system to accelerate the boats away when the lights go out at the start of the race.
The Caudwell boats will be a new but not a "radical" design. They are inspired by the DAC and BABA boat hulls that are built in Italy and are the standard for the F1 series. They will be different in many ways including the fact that the new 4-stroke engine actually weights more than the Mercury 2-stroke design so it will be more reinforced in the stern.
The hulls are made of a combination of carbon titanium and carbon Kevlar hybrid fibers in a very state of the art process which means it is also very strong hi-tech package as well.
The two driver team will consist of Italian veteran Ivan Brigada along with South African teammate Brett Stuart who is making his first appearance on the international stage.
Ivan, the F2 World Champion in 2004, has 15 F1 starts with a victory at the Grand Prix of Qatar back in 2006 being his career highlight thus far. The 32 year-old also has earned a pole-position in qualifying along with four accidents during his racing career. His last start was a year ago when he appeared with the Singha F1 Team at the Grand Prix of Portugal qualifying 12th and picking up a world championship point when he finished 10th.
Brett Stuart is a prominent long time racer in his native South Africa having finished runner-up in the national championship in 2008/2009 and consistently making the podium in each season of racing as well. The 31 year-old is really excited about the challenge and representing his home country of South Africa around the world in 2012.
"Ivan has been great in both the development of our race package and making sure Brett is up to speed in what the expectations are in the F1 series," said Kevin. "He has worked very hard in making sure we are ready to put on a positive picture of our goals in moving into F1 and we are happy to have him on board."
Kevin Delaney finished by saying, "We are looking to stir things up in the sport of F1 this year."
Believe me, they already have.
The UIM F1 H2O World Championship opens up its 2012 calendar with the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar in Doha along the Gulf on the ninth and 10th of March. The one hour qualifying session for pole position and the places for the starting grid along with the Grand Prix can all be viewed by going to the official website of the UIM F1 H2O Website at www.f1h2o.com and click on the Video In Demand section at the top right corner of the home page.
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