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Full reaction from Oslo Qualifying
Posted On: 11 Aug 2007 - 17:54
Courtesy of Bjorn Gjelsten and Steve Curtis, Spirit of Norway, will start the Scandinavian Grand Prix, round 3 of the WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, in Pole Position after going quickest in today's official qualifying session in Oslo.

Gjelsten and Curtis grabbed the early initiative, setting the fastest time in the first session, to secure their place in the 25 minute shoot-out alongside Victory 77, Victory 7, Qatar 96 and Qatar 95. In the second session it was Qatar 96's Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani and Matteo Nicolini who led the boats out onto the water and set the marker, posting a time of 2m 37.35s. But this was immediately bettered by Spirit of Norway, on their first of two laps, with a time of 2m 30.09secs around the 4.6Nm lap at an average speed of 220.32kmh/136.93mph, to secure the Pole.

Producing one of the most impressive performances of the afternoon and in their first competitive outing together was Victory 7's new pairing of Talib Al Sayed and Nadir Bin Hendi, going second quickest in 2m 32.32s to upstage their team-mates and championship leader's, Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Jean-Marc Sanchez in third place, with Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Luca Nicolini, lining up on the outside of the front row in fifth spot with team-mates Qatar 96 on their inside.

Class 1's youngest pairing, Tom Barry-Cotter and Pal Nilsen, in Spirit of Norway 20, produced another solid performance to secure sixth fastest overall and will lead the second start line after missing out on the final shoot-out by less than two seconds. For the second race in-a-row, Foresti & Suardi field a new driver pairing with Norwegian, Kurt Olsen, joining Giampaolo Montavoci, the pair posting a credible seventh fastest time. Jotun's problems continued, when a blown engine in the first session thwarted their hopes of a front row start, and they line up in eighth place ahead of SeveneleveN, with VM Foresti & Suardi and Negotiator both failing to start, lining up in tenth and eleventh positions.

(shoot-out - 25 minutes)
1. Spirit of Norway 10 - Gjelsten (NOR)/Curtis (GB) - 2m 30.09s
2. Victory 7 - T Al Sayed (UAE)/Hendi (UAE) - 2m 32.32s
3. Victory 77 - Al Zafeen(UAE)/Sanchez (FR) - 2m 35.07s
4. Qatar 96 - Al-Thani (QAT)/Nicolini (ITA) - 2m 37.35s
5. Qatar 95 - Al-Sulaiti (QAT)/L Nicolini (ITA) - 2m 41.51s

(first session - 50 minutes)
6. Spirit of Norway 20 - Barry-Cotter (AUS)/Nilsen (NOR) 2m 42.11s
7. Foresti & Suardi 8 - K Olsen (NOR)/ Montavoci (ITA) 2m 42.57s
8. Jotun 90 - Zaborowski (NOR)/Tandberg (NOR) - 2m 44.79s
9. SeveneleveN 18 - Polli (ITA)/Giorgi (ITA) - 3m 02.28s
Negotiator 50 - Eker (NOR)/Parsonage (GB) - dns
VM Foresti & Suardi 2 - D Cirilli (ESP)/M Pennesi (ITA) - dns

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