OLBIA (SARDINIA): Sunday, October 16: An early lap of 27.42sec was sufficient for the China CTIC Team’s Phillippe Chiappe to set the fastest time in a somewhat restrained one-hour free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix of Regione Sardegna on Sunday morning.
With drivers finalising their set-ups for the fourth round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, the Frenchman managed to beat Norway’s Marit Strømøy by a tenth of a second. Young Team Sweden racer Kalle Viippo raced well to round off the top three places. Chiappe said: “We find a good set-up. Now it’s important that we make a good start in the race.”
Sharjah Team driver Sami Selio finished the last practice session in fourth. The Finn said: “We qualified in P5 for the race. I am not happy, of course. We are always aiming for the top three, especially on such a short circuit. It is so important to have a good start. I did not get the package together and could not find the set-up. Let’s see. It will be a lot of laps and a lot of traffic and a lot of challenging moments. We try to keep it clean and finish the race.”
“It was warm-up but I was just trying to figure out what prop to use for the race and I think we find it,” added fifth-placed Andersson. “So, it is going to be an interesting race. You need to find a prop that you like and is good for the boat and the set-up. You are looking for what speed you want. It is different from driver to driver, but I think we are there. We had some problems with the engine yesterday in Q3 and I start in P4. It’s going to be very challenging in the first laps because the course is very short and small. It’s the same for everybody, so hopefully we can make a good start.”
Maverick Racing’s Cédric Deguisne finished the session in 15th. He said: “They have changed the circuit so we have to test new propellers. I had to test some propellers with a new engine. It is not easy to discover the new circuit at the same time. We have to check out data and find the perfect propeller for this afternoon.”
Chiappe was on the pace early on a race course that had again been modified slightly and carded a 27.42sec tour during the first few minutes of the session, with Kalle Viippo also running well to post a 27.86sec and edge a tenth of a second ahead of Selio before the session was briefly yellow-flagged while a turn buoy was repositioned.
Chiappe, Viippo and Selio continued to top the times after the resumption of racing action, as the session entered in the remaining 40 minutes and the top three remained unchanged at the halfway point, with Andersson displacing Torrente to hold fourth in the morning’s timings. There was little racing action towards the end of the stint and Chiappe’s early flier was sufficient to top the timings, with teams preferring to save their equipment for the afternoon’s Grand Prix.
Strømøy managed to edge into second in the closing minutes with a run of 27.52sec and Alberto Comparato left it late to move up from 15th to 12th with a best run of 29.63sec.
The Italian Grand Prix of Regione Sardegna fires into life at 15.00hrs. To lessen the risk of any potential stoppages on the start lap of the shortened course, the top 10 race boats will leave the start pontoon four seconds ahead of the rest of the field in a staggered start.
2022 Italian Grand Prix of Regione Sardegna - free practice result (Sunday):
|1. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team||27.42sec|
|2. Marit Strømøy (NOR) Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team||27.52sec|
|3. Kalle Viippo (FIN) Team Sweden||27.86sec|
|4. Sami Selio (FIN) Sharjah Team||27.87sec|
|5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden||27.93sec|
|6. Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi||28.36sec|
|7. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi||28.76sec|
|8. Alec Weckström (FIN) Gillman Racing||29.00sec|
|9. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team||29.05sec|
|10. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NLD) Sharjah Team||29.14sec|
|11. Filip Roms (FIN) Gillman Racing||29.38sec|
|12. Alberto Comparato (ITA) Comparato F1||29.63sec|
|13. Alexandre Bourgeot (FRA) Maverick Racing||29.65sec|
|14. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team||29.92sec|
|15. Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick Racing||30.83sec|