ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – 14th of June, 2008 – Swedish driver Jonas Andersson was in the right place at the right time and held on to take his 2nd victory of the season to move within 10 points of the championship lead of the 2008 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating at the 6th Grand Prix of Russia on the Neva River in front of tens of thousands of fans in downtown St. Petersburg.
The race was hi-lited by the two battle between pole sitter Guido Cappellini and 3rd place starter Thani Al Qamzi as the Team Abu Dhabi star jumped into the lead past the native of Como, Italy on the opening lap and led until his boat stopped on the 40th lap handing the lead back to the 9-time World Champion.
Cappellini held the lead for just 3 laps until his engine expired on the front straightaway ending his dream of getting to within 3 points of the championship leader Jay Price of the Qatar Team who had dropped out himself with engine problems on the 14 lap while in 6th place.
Andersson found himself moving to the front and taking over the lead when the yellow flag came out forcing the final few laps to be run under yellow with Andersson finishing just ahead of World Champion Sami Selio of the Woodstock Red Devil Team as the Finnish driver earned his first podium finish of the season after four starts.
¨I’m so excited for my team and the hard work they did for the past few days to get this boat ready,¨ said Jonas. ¨Now we are within 10 points of Jay and are ready to focus during the summer reccess to charge our way to hopefully to our first title.¨
Italian Fabio Comparato of the 800 Doctor Team earned his first podium in 16 races since Portugal of 2006 coming up from 9th starting position to take 3rd and move to 7th on the championship table with 19 points.
Pierre Lundin of Sweden did another remarkable job of steady driving to take 4th after starting 10th and now is in 6th with 22 points in the championship. Finishing 5th was Philippe Dessertenne of France with the China CTIC Team with Australian driver David Trask of the Trask Brothers Racing Team coming home 6th.
St. Petersburg native Stanislav Kourtsenovsky came home a strong 7th for his best result of the season in front of his cheering hometown crowd taking a victory lap after the event was over now 14th in the championship with 9 points overall.
Finishing 8th was another Frenchman Philippe Chiappe now 9th in the championship with 15 points with Italian Marco Gambi earning his first points this season with his 9th place finish. Earning the final point was a disappointed Ahmad Al Hameli who’s position moved him one point in front of Cappellini and Selio into 3rd position with 28 on the season.
The grueling 50 lap event saw 8 retirements in the 22 starters that began the Grand Prix.
The next event on the schedule is 108 days away in China as the U.I.M. F1 World Championship takes the summer break with the Olympics coming up and will head off to the Far East for the October 1st event and the 5th stop on the 2008 tour.
American Jay Price leads the championship but his fellow F2 friend Jonas Andersson is closing in with Ahmad Al Hameli, Guido Cappellini and Sami Selio in pursute. It’s is looking like the 2008 campaign is shaping up to being a season to remember.