BaBa Brigade hit Brindisi

A famous Italian art historian Cesare Brandi once spoke with great excitement about the view of the smooth sea that helped him appreciate the bright sunrays that illuminated the city from every side. This weekend though a group of six drivers will all be praying that the water isn’t so calm when the historic city of Brindisi hosts round three of the UIM F2 World Championship.

What those six have in common is that they will all be racing their Italian built BaBa hulls with thousands of loyal fans all cheering on the local brand. After the dominate performance so far this season by the Molgaard drivers this weekend will be crucial for those racing the creation of Massimo Roggiero.

Back in 1995 after many years of racing other hulls Roggiero, with the help and assistance of his long time friend Sami Selio started to manufacture his own boats. It wasn’t long before success came and now with four World Championship titles behind him his priority is now to add the UIM F2 world title to his already impressive list of achievements.

Amongst those helping Roggiero with his goal is Pal Virik Nilsen. The Norwegian who loves racing in the rough feels completely at home when he’s strapped into his BaBa hull. “It’s just so good in the rough” said Virik Nilsen, who also attributed a great deal of his success down to how well they accelerated away from the start pontoon. “You have to have complete trust in the guy that builds your raceboat and that is something I have in Roggiero.” That trust was recently put to the test when they raced Class 1 Offshore together, Virik Nilsen throttled and Roggiero drove. The pair didn’t get far though as the boat caught fire in a practice session.

“Sure there are times when I wish it was more competitive in the flat water, this weekend we’ve made a few alterations so let’s see how it goes.”

One of the many new drivers to the F2 World Championship is Winand De Jager who had a baptism of fire when he first raced a BaBa hull. “Back in South Africa I first raced a Seebold hull, then a DAC. After my mother past away I got the opportunity to race her BaBa hull. It was so stable in comparison to my previous raceboats that I got over confident and blew it over” admitted De Jager. Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest of starts but he knew that the BaBa design suited his style and he’s now campaigning one of Roggiero’s latest creations.

Another new driver singing Roggiero’s praises is Tobias Muthe-Kaas who said that the Italian boat builder was quick to help out. “When I’m with Roggiero I’m talking to a boat builder that has actually been there and raced” said Muthe-Kaas. “He can give you instant advice which for a new F2 driver is so very crucial when you are starting out.”

Roggiero himself knows that he still has a long way to go if he’s going to capture that world title “It might be the best looking boat in the race pits but they don’t hand out awards for beauty in this sport.”

Perhaps though in a city so steeped in history going as far back as the Roman time when it marked the end of the Appian Way, a road that originated in Rome, BaBa might make a little piece of history themselves this weekend.

Qualifying gets under way on Saturday July 27 at noon CET followed by the speed runs and match racing taking place from 17:15 CET.

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