Finland’s Sami Selio saw his hopes of a near certain podium finish in the Grand Prix of China, round 2 of the UIM F1H2O World Powerboat Championship, disappear on lap 33 of 39 when he suddenly slowed with a faltering engine, dropping from an unchallenged second place to eventually finish in eighth.
Team Qatar’s Italian driver and current Championship leader Alex Carella dominated what was a race of attrition with nine of the 18 boat line-up retiring, to take a flag-to-finish win ahead of Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi and Team Nautica’s Erik Stark.
For two-time World Champion Selio, who crashed in Liuzhou in 2011 and was taken out of the race in 2012 by American Shaun Torrente and ending his title bid, the run of bad luck in Liuzhou where he won in 2009 continued.
But despite his obvious disappointment and frustration there were a lot of positives to take from the weekend. “It is very frustrating for the team but the weekend was very much a learning curve for me in the new boat. And to go second quickest in qualifying in really tough conditions and then run almost the whole race in second position until the engine lost power is encouraging .” he said.
“I was not driving at my best at times, the set-up was wrong but to be so easy in second place in a new boat until the problem shows that the potential is there. Now we have to make some adjustments and realise that potential. For sure I would have been second but Alex [Carella] was simply too fast.”
Final results; F1 Power Boat, GP of China:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 39 lap
2. Thani Al Qamzi (UEA) Team Abu Dhabi – 35,35 sec
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team – 36,92 sec
7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team – 2 laps
8. Sami Seliö (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team – 2 laps
Points after China:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) 40
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) 15
3. Thani Al Qamzi (UEA) 15
4. Duarte Benavente (POR) 12
5. Shaun Torrente (QAT) 12
6. Bartek Marszalek (POL) 12
7. Filip Roms (FIN) 11
11. Sami Seliö (FIN) 3