India enjoyed its first taste of world class powerboat racing today as the qualifying session kicked off the three day NEXA P1 Powerboat Indian Grand Prix of the Seas in Mumbai.
Spectators around the natural amphitheatre of Mumbai’s Back Bay and millions of viewers of Sony ESPN’s live television coverage watched the fleet of 12 P1 Panther race boats set their qualifying times to determine the starting line-up for tomorrow’s opening day of racing.
It was an outstanding day for Welsh powerboat racers with the current UK SuperStock champions from Pembrokeshire and the reigning USA SuperStock champions from Newport leading the field with just one hundredth of a second separating them. With less than two seconds covering the top four boats, it promises to be a monumental battle over the three races taking place this weekend.
The brother and sister pairing of Sam and Daisy Coleman will start on pole position and they know that James Norvill and Charlie Parsons-Young will make life difficult for them as the entire fleet tackles the 2.2nm enclosed race track, the first of its kind, in the three races that will determine the destination of the world championship title.
At the evening press conference, driver Sam Coleman expressed his delight at going even faster than in the earlier practice session, and he stressed the importance of enjoying clear water and being able to choose the right racing line. “I’m well aware that in tomorrow’s race conditions, with 12 boats fighting it out on the race track, it will be a very different affair, but Daisy and I will be analysing our performance tonight to go even quicker tomorrow”, explained Sam.
Indian rally cross hero Gaurav Gill, who has only recently taken up the challenge of powerboat racing, will be very happy with finishing 7th fastest and is sure to be making headlines on the Indian sports pages this weekend.
Tomorrow’s on the water action will comprise two 15 – lap races, with Mumbai’s stunning city skyline providing a dramatic backdrop. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to line the city’s sweeping Marine Drive to welcome a new world class event to India’s impressive sporting calendar.
Full details of the NEXA P1 Powerboat Grand Prix of the Seas can be found at www.p1india.com.