Belgian outfit 2B1 currently leads the way in the UIM Ocean Grand Prix World Endurance Championship Evo Class having won the first battle of the season in Malta, but with Lucas Oil – led by Throttleman Nigel Hook (USA) and Pilot Michael Silfverberg (Sweden) – and Searex Racing of Germany in hot pursuit, the war is far from over.
A three-way fight for honours is looming large in both classes with this weekend’s UIM Siracusa Ocean Grand Prix set to play a major role in deciding the destiny of the 2011 Championship. Italian trio RG 87 Racing, Jolly Drive and Team Force One will cross swords again in the SuperSport section, determined to impress on home waves. Just four points separate RG 87 – comprising Antonio Schiano di Cola, Giuseppe Schiano di Cola and Francesco Caló in Karelpiu’ – and Jolly Drive – with its Yanmar Marine engines providing 880 hp – at the top of the table going into the weekend.
2B1 Pilot Pierre Colpin is anticipating a strong challenge from the chasing pack as the season progresses, but remains confident in the credentials of boat, Furnibo – powered by twin 700 hp Mercury Racing engines – and those of his team. “We are really looking forward to the weekend,” he says. “We expect a lot from Siracusa because it has proved to be a circuit that has suited us well over the years.”
“I think Lucas Oil will be our main challengers throughout the season, but we are pushing our boat to its limit to take the OGP Championship home. Frank (Hemelaer, Throttleman) and I make a very good team out on the waves, so I’m sure we will be as strong as ever in Sicily!” The Siracusa Ocean Grand Prix gets underway on Friday, with teams set to compete for pole position from 2.30 pm.