For a racing driver that has secured a top three position in the final world championship standings five times in the last seven years finishing in fourth place is not an option he would take lightly.
By his own admission Sami Selio, the number one driver at the Mac-Croc Baba Racing Team, rated the 2012 UIM F1H2O World Championship as one he’d like to forget and move on as quickly as possible.
“After my huge accident at the Chinese Grand Prix back in 2011 the passion I have had for powerboat racing since I was a young boy simply went” admitted a very candid Selio.
A third place at the opening round of the 2012 season in Qatar followed soon after with a win in the Kyviv Region of the Ukraine might have satisfied other drivers in the series but not Selio who contrary to the results was struggling to find the motivation that had previously earned him two world titles.
“When I went out to qualify for the Grand Prix I would settle on a third or fourth place on the grid. I was never pushing it to the edge which is what I would have done in the past. Ok, in Sharjah I took the pole position but then after the Grand Prix where I finished fifth I was walking back to the hotel and the fact that I had lost second place in the championship just didn’t seem to bother me.”
Then just before Christmas Selio began to suffer from bouts of depression. “It’s really hard to describe how you feel, but by admitting that there’s something wrong means you are on the road to recovery.”
Fortunately the 2013 World Championship season doesn’t get under way until June with the opening round in Brazil. This has given Selio the time he needs to fully recover and refocus his drive and determination. He has also been under taking a strenuous work out regime with high altitude training near his home in Tenerife.
With a long winter brake it’s also given the team plenty of time to prepare for the coming season. “This is the first time in over two years that we have had the time to send the boats back to the Baba workshop in Italy for a major overhaul before the first round. In the past it’s only the teams in Qatar and Abu Dhabi that have that luxury, while the European based teams have waited for their containers to arrive.”
As to his team-mate Flip Roms, Selio now expects the young Finnish driver to move up to the ‘next level’. “During the 2012 season the team just asked him to finish the race, so this year we are expecting more from him. He needs to develop an understanding of which propellers to run along with making his own decisions on how the boat should be set up for both qualifying and the Grand Prix.”
With both eyes now firmly focussed on the opening round taking place in the Federal Capital of Brazil, Selio is eagerly looking forward to the start of season with a renewed vigour. “We first started talking about a race in Brazil some fifteen years ago and now it looks like we’re finally going to make the trip. I always love new venues and with the excellent organisation and set up there I can’t wait till June. In the meantime we’ve worked really hard on preparation after all it’s a long way to send your equipment and come away with no points.”
This new found confidence is also reflected in his own well being. “Having the long winter has helped me get better and now I’m back to full fitness, plus the hunger has returned. I have enjoyed the training regime and I’m not worried about the new BMI test. In the past I would have been very close to the limit but this year I’m in much better shape. More importantly the focus is back 100% in both my mind and my eye sight.”
The 2013 UIM F1H2O World Championship:
June 01-02 Brasilla Brazil
July 26-27 Kyviv Region Ukraine
July 28 Presidents Cup Ukraine
September 15 Shanghai China
October 03-04 Liuzhou China
November 22-2 Doha Qatar
November 28-29 Abu Dhabi UAE
December 13 Sharjah UAE