Victory 77 and Spirit of Norway bid for title

WPPA Class 1 World Powerboats Championship - Dubai UAE © Photo:Simon Palfrader©
With the outcome of the 2007 WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship already decided and the title back in Dubai after a five-year absence, Victory 77 and Spirit of Norway now go head-to-head in this weekend’s Dubai Grand Prix, the final race of the season, in a winner take all clash to decide the outcome of the WPPA Class 1 Middle East Championship, with the outgoing World and European Champions, Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis looking to deprive the new champions, Jean-Marc Sanchez and Arif Al Zafeen of a win on home waters, and from adding the Middle East title to the 2007 World and European titles already in their possession.

Spirit of Norway go into the final race on 43 points and lead the Middle East Championship by two points from Victory 77, but Negotiator’s Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker - ten points off the lead - and Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Matteo Nicolini in Qatar 96, lying in fourth, are both in with a shot at the title should either of the two front runners hit trouble. Spirit of Norway and Qatar 96 will also be vying for the runners-up slot in the overall world championship standings and are currently tied on 96 points.

Outside of the top three in the world standings, Abdullah Al–Sulaiti and Luca Nicolini in Qatar 95 will be looking to repeat their second place in the last race, to end the season as the strongest of the outfits running V8s and the best of the chasing pack, ahead of Victory 7 and Negotiator.

WPPA CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 7 of 8
1. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 127pts
2= Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 96pts
2= Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 96pts
4. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 64pts
5. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) – 62pts
6. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 49pts
7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 39pts
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 34pts
9. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 17pts
10. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) - 14pts
11. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) – 8pts

WPPA CLASS 1 MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 3 of 4
1. Spirit of Norway 10 – B Gjelsten (NOR)/S Curtis (GB) – 43pts
2. Victory 77 – A Al Zafeen (UAE)/JM Sanchez (FR) – 41pts
3. Negotiator 50 – B Eker (NOR)/C Parsonage (GB) – 33pts
4. Qatar 96 – H Al Thani (QAT)/M Nicolini (ITA) – 32pts
5. Qatar 95 – A Al Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) – 24pts
6. Foresti & Suardi 8 – M Pennesi (ITA)/G Montavoci (ITA) – 15pts
7. Victory 7 – T Al Sayed (UAE)/N B Hendi (UAE) – 14pts
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – T Barry-Cotter (AUS)/P Nilsen (NOR) – 10pts
9. Jotun 90 – C Zaborowski (NOR)/J Tandberg (NOR) - 5pts
10. Fainplast 2 – K Selmer (NOR)/G Carpitella (ITA) – 3pts
11. SeveneleveN 18 – T Polli (ITA)/N Giorgi (ITA) – 1pts

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