Dessertenne Leads Four Drivers In Battle For 2nd Place!
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – 14th of December – The title has been decided and now it just comes down to pride as two of the most dominant drivers of the U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating come into the last event of the 2005 season with each trying to prove a point…he is the biggest gun on the water…at Friday’s 6th Annual Grand Prix of Sharjah!
For Italian Guido Cappellini of the Tamoil Team, he is coming off his record breaking 9th world championship after winning 3 of the four races he has finished this season and this weekend will be looking forward to his unpressidented 50th career victory in his 131st start. On the Khalid Lagoon the native of Como, Italy has only won this race once back in 2001 failing to finish the since then with a disqualification in 2002, a boat fire in 2003 and engine failure in 2004.
“We are going for it all this weekend in Sharjah,” stated Cappellini just minutes after winning the title with a 3rd place at the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi last weekend. “We are out to prove we can win when all the restrictions of fighting for a championship are not in play and we have nothing to lose.”
The American Scott Gillman of the Emirates Team will be looking to continue righting a ship of disappointment that has sailed with him all season leading every race but only winning one last weekend at his adopted home town of Abu Dhabi. Gillman has a record that has not been equalled in a decade having won 10 of his last 13 finishes. His record at Sharjah is a good one having won the last two races in a row and finishing on the podium in all but the 2002 race when he finished 4th.
“It’s show time on the water and the gloves will be off with nothing to prove but pride this time around,” stated the driver from Los Angeles, California. “We’ve proven to have been the fastest all season and this race should be no different if we keep all our ducks in a row. It should be a fun weekend when all is finished and we would love to make it two straight in the Emirates.”
The number one driver of the Emirates Team, Gillman proves his point of success in Sharjah having won the 2004 and 2003 races with a second in 2001 and 2000.
There is going to be more action on the water than just the Gillman & Cappellini show, as four drivers including Scott Gillman will also be battling in finishing for 2nd place overall in the championship behind Cappellini’s 72 points. French driver Philippe Dessertenne of the Ligier Sports Team has 39 points and is four points ahead of Gillman in 2nd place at the moment. His best finish in the championship was in 2001 when he finished 3rd. The driver from La Rochelle has two podiums in 2002 and 2003 and a fourth last season so he has a great chance to finish in the top 3 if history repeats itself.
After Gillman’s 35 points comes Finland’s Sami Selio with 34.5 points and three podiums this season looking for his first overall victory in his career at the same time. Selio of the Selio F1 Team has come close having led for most of the 2003 race only to fall back to 5th at the end likes this course and is hoping for his 2nd straight podium after finishing 3rd last season.
Saudi driver Laith Pharaon has always done well in the Middle East events and is hoping to carry that wave of momentum here to Sharjah this Friday with a shot at the 2nd place position. Laith’s best finish was a 2nd in 2002 with a DNF last year after qualifying 5th.
Another battle to be settled on the water will take place on Thursday, 15th of December when the Pole Position Championship will be decided with American Scott Gillman leading with 85 points to Italian Cappellini’s 80. It will be a two person battle for this as Laith Pharaon’s 42 is not enough to unsettle the top two.
The quiet of this morning on the lovely Khalid Lagoon is soon to change and a wild finish with no one holding anything back should make this one of the momentous U.I.M. F1 races in recent history as “fire on the water” should take place. So stay tuned.