Guido Cappellini retired from circuit racing in 2009, however, after testing a DAC hull in San Nazzaro, the ten-time UIM F1H2O world Champion rolled the years back last week when he hit speeds of 240 kph.
The Italian who has enjoyed further international success as the circuit racing manager of Team Abu Dhabi, has been testing the new Mercury 360 APX Four Stroke engine in preparation for a new challenge.
And that first challenge for the veteran racer and rookie motor will be a 414 km race down the Po, the longest river in Italy.
With a 92-year history, the Raid Pavia-Venezia will be held on June 6 this year, and Cappellini has spent hours working on not only straight-line speed, but reliability, set-up and gaining knowledge of the notorious race route.
Cappellini explains further:
It is incredibly emotional to be competing in this race for the very first time.
We have put meticulous attention to detail into coupling the new Mercury Racing power to the DAC catamaran and it is the small details that can make the difference.
I have searched the limits of the boat to ensure that I can use the speed on the easier parts of the course and on the balance for the more difficult sections.
After testing the engine that has primarily been developed to race in the UIM F1H2O World Championship, Cappellini is impressed:
The Four Stroke engine has already proven to be some excellent technology.
His testing will continue in the run-up to the race where the concentration this week will be to further understand the fickle nature of the ever-changing weather conditions on the Po.
Cappellini‘s colleague from Team Abu Dhabi, Attilio Donzelli, has plotted the average speeds needed during the race if he is to break the existing course record, that fastest average speed of 203 kph was set by Dino Zantelli in 2006.
To beat that time, Cappellini will first have to thread his way through 80 other competing boats due to a staggered start with the higher-powered boats starting from Pavia last.
Italian film director, Claudio Cavilotti, will be covering the whole of Cappellini’s return to competition on the river with the aim of producing a short film entitled, ‘The Raid Challenge’.
The 414 KM race will be held on June 6 and is organised by the Pavia Motorboat and Venice Powerboat associations, the boats start in Pavia and race to Venice on the same day.