With just three weeks to go before the start of the 2016 UIM F2 World Championship, Milla Sohlström and her team are quietly confident that they have everything in place as they welcome twenty six drivers to Lake Peurunkajarvi and the start of what some people are saying will be one of the most competitive F2 seasons yet.
Ahead of the teams lay seven very different Grand Prix venues. From the choppy waters of Lake Lugano, it’s onto the picturesque fjord of Oksefjorden followed by the tight confines of Tonsberg in Norway. Then it’s a chance to stretch their legs down the long straights of Zarasai in Lithuania before sampling the delights of Macon in the Burgundy region of France. Ribadouro in Portugal will then play host to the season’s finale in October.
Sweden’s Pierre Lundin took a giant step closer to securing the 2015 UIM F2 World Championship crown when he secured his third victory of the season in what many of the drivers described as the roughest conditions they have ever raced in.
Boating on Lake Lugano on a very hot August afternoon might have a tranquil sound to it but that was far from the reality that twenty four drivers faced as they left the start pontoon. Within minutes of the red lights going out the fleet were once again lining up for a second start. Nick Bisterfeld’s weekend to forget came to a sudden halt when he clashed with Stain Slaattedalen at the far demarcation buoy. Thankfully both drivers emerged ok from their upturned hulls.
Sweden’s Pierre Lundin will start from pole position for the UIM F2 Grand Prix of Switzerland after he mastered the rollers that had caused many of the driver’s problems during the top ten ‘Shoot-Out’.
Clear blue skies and high temperatures had tempted large numbers of spectator boats out to watch the action and despite the presence of the local police several drivers said that their two laps were compromised by the wash from spectator boats. Both Erik Edin and Owen Jelf, who had both posted times in the top five during Q2 struggled to repeat their previous performance in Q3.
For powerboat racing fans who like a ‘little flutter’ on the roulette, baccarat or black jack tables, this weekend’s UIM F2 World Championship round taking place in Campione d’Italia should satisfy their needs, but who would you back to collect the victors trophy come Sunday evening?
It’s been nearly twenty years since the UIM last staged a World Championship round in the Italian enclave within the Swiss canton of Ticino. Back then Jonathan Jones won his first F1 Grand Prix for his John Player Gold Leaf Team and a lot of water has lapped the shores of Lake Lugano since then.
The ultimate question has been finally answered when Pierre Lundin of Sweden crossed the finish line in his Moore hull on Lake Zarasai at the end of the 20 lap long Race 4. It was a start-finish win for the Swede with no serious contender during the final heat as Osterberg could not make it back to Race 4 after his accident in Race 3. Temper had to take the last position on the grid of Race 4 and the gap proved to be too big for him to catch Lundin. Excitement however was provided by hungarian Bela Cserni fighting all race long with Bimba Sjoholm and Konstantin Ustinov. Both NewStar boats finished Race 4 and became a valuable member of the F2 Family after their very first F2 introduction.
Lundin's successful 2015 racing season with 2 World Championship wins from Brindisi and Tonsberg will hopefully continue in two weeks time when the F2 field meets up in Campione, Switzerland for the inaugural Swiss Grand Prix.
Zarasai was placed on the powerboating map with a remarkably successful event, F2 Driver and first time Organiser Edgaras Riabko will have to concentrate now on his ASV hull repairs to be ready in time for the next F2 World Championship race on 29th/30th August in Campione.
Had one thought that the crash festival was over on Lake Zarasai then it proved to be wrong. When the red lights went off and the field returned from turn 1 to turn 2 Temper and Osterberg fighting for the second position were just about to negotiate the turn with Temper on the inside and the swede on the outside but none of th were able to complete the turn as they came together. Both boats damaged but with no driver hurt, the restart was ordered without them. Lundin had no contender after the restart and won Race 3 in style to jump on the top of the overall standings with two wins and a third finish on 1025 points. Temper still sitting on 2nd position with 700 points and Slakteris us now 3rd scoring 596 points. Can Temper make his return to Race 4 and challange Lundin for the EC crown will be reveiled soon at 16:30 local time.