The two Sicilian cities of Syracuse and Milazzo will both play host to a rare event when the competing teams arrive for the UIM Ocean Grand Prix World Endurance Championship; three races will replace the traditional format of two. The addition of a Friday sprint race presents a demanding new challenge which results from the cancellation of the Dutch GP and has the support of the pilots. Sigi Greve, owner and driver of the German Searex Racing team, has welcomed the change.
“We are fully prepared for a total of six races in Sicily, this will be a true test of our endurance capabilities and also presents big cost savings for the teams.” he explains. “The extended break, due to the cancellation, was unexpected but it has given us additional time to improve the boat’s performance. As a manufacturer, Searex welcomes any opportunity to demonstrate product reliability in the most extreme conditions.”
Race Director Jean-Marie Van Lancker believes teams will have to overcome the physical and push themselves to the limit to ensure success on the Mediterranean island. “It is clear that the outcome of the World Championship will almost certainly be decided in Sicily. Powerboating is always demanding on man and machine as they take on the elements and three races in as many days just ups the ante. Boat reliability will be more critical than outright speed, pilots will suffer even greater physical hardship and there will be many sleepless nights for the team mechanics and engineers as they battle to keep the boats on the water.”
“It’s a challenging mix for all participants, for some it will end in disappointment, yet for the victors, all the blood, sweat and tears will be worth it and those bruises will become medals of honour!”
Rounds three, four and five in the 2011 UIM Ocean Grand Prix World Endurance Championship take place in Syracuse from 2nd – 4th September 2011. The Grand Prix of Milazzo begins a fortnight later.