ITALIAN GUDIO Cappellini pulled off a miracle finish by leading, losing and regaining first place at the seventh Annual Grand Prix of Portugal, the opening round of the 2005 Union Internationale Motonautique Formula One World Championship for powerboating, in front of thousands of fans on the Arade River in Portimão recently.
The race turned quickly into a two-boat battle as the two world champions, American Scott Gillman of the Emirates Team, the defending race champion, and Cappellini of the Tamoil Team, who had won this race five times previously, went head to head for the 55 lap distance. The native of Como led for the first three quarters of the event until the restart and Gillman pouncing on Cappellini with less than eight laps to go, moved ahead.
The California driver, who won in 2004, was pulling away slowly until the final lap, when he came upon a myriad of back markers and took on water into the engine, just enough to slow the boat and for Cappellini to come charging by in the final chicane to take his 47th victory, winning by 1.86 seconds.
The win gives Guido Cappellini 20 points to start the season, with Gillman five points back with 15, and Fabio Comparato sitting in third with 12. The next round, race number two of the U.I.M. F1 World Championship tour will be the Grand Prix of the Mediterranean in Calgiari, Sardinia, on the weekend of July 2 and 3.