LAHTI, Finland – 6th of June, 2008 – The Grand Prix history of Finland is relatively short, with this weekend’s 3rd race of the 2008 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating being only the 4th Grand Prix in this Scandinavian country, but two of the past three winners came to reaching glory for the not only the first, but only time in their careers.
French driver Philippe Dessertenne of the CTIC China Team comes into the event this week coming off a 6th place finish at the Grand Prix of Portugal, outside the top 10 in the points chase and looking for a win in the first time in 44 races since his first and last victory at the 2002 Grand Prix of Finland in Helsinki.
“I realize it has been a while ago, however we feel we have finally found the right package and now can be a serious contender for victory this weekend,” said the La Rochelle resident. “The victory in Helsinki was a real special event in my life and believe me I want to relive the experience once again.”
Dessertenne will be starting his 113th race this weekend since joining F1 full time 13 years ago and is hoping to turn around his luck with a victory.
The history of this event began in Tampere back in 1998 and in the throws of the world championship Swedish driver Goran Karlof put together a remarkable victory holding off the charges of two world champions the Italian Guido Cappellini and Scott Gillman the American who recently retired after 4-titles.
The likeable Swede retired with his victory as his greatest memory. In 2003, Italian Francesco Cantando scored his 8th of 11 career wins in the inner harbour of Helsinki in his run for a title that eventually went to fellow Italian Cappellini.
“The race that day in Helsinki came to us with a little luck with my fellow competitors having struggles of their own and we took advantage to win,” said Francesco. “We are hoping that this same thing happens this weekend after we feel we have turned the corner with our podium finish last race in Portugal last month.”
All in all the history here in Finland has been one of `’dream makers`’ with two drivers finding their first ever wins here in the land of the endless summer light on water.