Italian Powerboat Driver Dies in Race
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Italian Formula One powerboat driver Vincenzo Polli was killed in a crash Friday during the final round of the world championship series.
Race promoter Nicolo Disan Germano said the 37-year-old Polli died after his boat collided with Jari Honkala’s boat on the 12th lap of the scheduled 50-lap race. Honkala escaped with a broken arm.
Race officials said Polli was pulled unconscious from his boat, but it was not immediately clear whether he died en route to the hospital or after arriving. His death is the third in Abu Dhabi since the country began hosting the race in 1993.
The event was called off after race leader and world champion-elect Guido Cappellini of Italy retired a few laps later, saying poor visibility caused by bright sunshine made race conditions too dangerous.
``The visibility from one end of the course was poor because the sun was directly on the face,″ Cappellini said.
The race was awarded to Saudi driver Laith Pharaon, with Italian Francesco Cantando second and Philippe Dessertenne of France third.
Polli switched to Formula One from the Class 1 World Offshore Racing. It was his first full season on the circuit since making his debut near the end of the 2001 series.