HE Sheikh Hassan Misses Out On Superboat /1/

HE Sheikh Hassan lined up with Matteo Nicolini in the twin-1650 Mercury-engined Victory hull, Spirit of Qatar 613, to take on Lucas Oil Silverhook 77 and arch rivals, Granet and Begovich, in the Superboat Unlimited class.

Ali Al-Neama and Billy Moore entered Spirit of Qatar 20 in the Superboat class alongside US-1 Team Stihl, 05 Broadco, 5 WHM Motorsports, 33 Autonation-Racing for Cancer and 38 Warpaint, with Instigator 22 the sole entrant in Superboat Extreme.

Sheikh Hassan and Nicolini made a superb start and pulled away from Miss Geico through the opening lap and began the second tour with a useful lead. Lucas Oil Silverhook slowed and dropped at least a lap, as Team Stihl pulled into a comfortable lead in Superboats and shadowed Miss Geico into lap two. WHM Motorsports, Spirit of Qatar 20, Broadco and Warpaint followed in their wake.

Granet began to apply immense pressure on Sheikh Hassan through lap two and the two racers were side-by-side into the final turn, but the Qatar driver shut the door in spectacular fashion and forced his American rival to run wide and maintained the lead, much to the delight of a massive vocal crowd. Team Stihl kept the lead in Superboat, but Broadco lost time in the turn.

Lap three was a carbon copy of the second one, with Granet and Begovich leaping spectacularly down the back straight and maintaining the outside line through traffic. But Sheikh Hassan held on to the lead and Team Stihl continued to lead in Superboats from WHM Motorsports.

Miss Geico managed to edge into a lead of several seconds on lap four after Spirit of Qatar 613’s Mercury engines switched into ‘guardian mode’ and the American reached the final turn with the choice of line. Granet and Begovich turned in well and began to pull away from Spirit of Qatar 613. WHM Motorsports was also running well and managed to pass Team Stihl and take the Superboat lead. Spirit of Qatar 20 was third.

Miss Geico and Spirit of Qatar 613 held station through lap five and there were no changes to the top four through the sixth tour. Granet and Sheikh Hassan completed lap seven neck-and-neck but Granet maintained the lead through the left-hand turn and Sheikh Hassan levelled down the straight as the thrilling contest continued. WHM led from Team Stihl and Spirit of Qatar 20 in Superboats. (MORE)

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