F1 Qatar's flying Carella and Torrente dominate qualifying in Liuzhou
2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
19th Grand Prix of China - round 3, September 30 – October 2
For immediate release
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
QATAR’S FLYING CARELLA AND TORRENTE CLAIM
TOP TWO QUALIFYING PLACES IN LIUZHOU
· Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari sidelined in F-4S race as Jernfast wins
· Torrente and Carella dominate first practice for Qatar Team
LIUZHOU (China): Qatar’s defending world champion Alex Carella and championship leader Shaun Torrente continued their run of impressive form with scintillating performances to qualify in pole position and second place for Wednesday’s 19th Grand Prix of China, round three of the 2013 UIM F1 H20 World Championship, on the Liu River in Liuzhou.
The pair pushed their boats to the limit in a nail-biting Tuesday afternoon shoot-out to fend off the challenge from Finland’s third-placed Sami Selio, Phillipe Chiappe of France, Francesco Cantando and Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi.
“We were unstoppable today, unbeatable,” admitted a delighted team manager Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, who runs the team under the umbrella of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“We did not push too hard in the official practice but we knew that Phillipe (Chiappe) and Sami (Selio) would be quick and that they might be in the top four. Our strategy worked well. It’s great to get the pole position but we know that doesn’t mean that you will win the race. Sami is a two-time world champion and he is fast and dangerous. Today was a great one for the Qatar Team but the goal now is a 1-2 for us in the race.”
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari was sidelined from the first of the two F-4S races with engine issues after qualifying in fifth place. Victory fell to Sweden’s young rookie Morgan Jernfast, who finished 6.36 seconds ahead of Germany’s Mike Szymura in his Team Nautica boat.
Sixteen boats took to the water in Q1 and 12 would progress to Q2 before the final six lined up in a shoot-out for pole position in Q3. Francesco Cantando set an early target lap of 46.86 seconds but this was surpassed by Sami Selio, Torrente and Phillipe Chiappe.
Carella moved up to fourth heading into the remaining 10 minutes and the Qatar duo reached Q2 with second and fifth positions. Rinaldo Osculati was a non-starter and Rhys Coles, Xiong Ziwei, Bartek Marszalek and Filip Roms failed to make Q2.
Torrente and Carella hit the front in the first five minutes of Q2, but their laps were eclipsed by Selio’s 45.83-second tour and they eventually reached the Q3 shoot-out with third and fourth places behind Selio and Chiappe. Former Qatar Team driver Terry Rinker, Yousef Al-Rubayan, Marit Stromoy, Duarte Benavente, Jonas Andersson and Ahmed Al-Hameli failed to reach the shoot-out.
Al-Qamzi set the Q3 target time of 47.09 seconds, but that was beaten by Cantando’s runs of 46.75 and 46.49. Carella had his chance in the spotlight next and the Qatar Team driver stormed into the lead with a fastest opening lap of 45.50 seconds.
Torrente was on the ragged edge to post an opening lap of 47.92 but he improved on lap two to slot into second behind Carella by just 4/100ths of a second. Chiappe began his challenge with his best lap of 46.08 seconds and Selio moved into third with a 45.92 tour. But the Finn was unable to improve on that time and settled for third behind the triumphant Carella and Torrente.
Sixteen of the 17 drivers lined up for the morning’s free practice session and Torrente and Carella were the dominant forces out on the water. Torrente pipped his team-mate by just 8/100ths of a second with a fastest lap of 45.91 seconds after 23 laps on the Liu River course. Chiappe was 0.18 seconds down in third position.
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari ran for 10 laps in the morning’s practice and needed to improve during the time trials to give himself a better starting position for the first of the two F-4S races. He was classified in sixth place, 1.91 seconds behind Sweden’s Morgan Jernfast.
The Qatari managed to improve to fifth in qualifying for the 19-lap race behind Jernfast, Bingchen Wu, Mike Szymura and Jan Andre Landsnes and this meant a good start was crucial.
Jernfast managed to hold off Wu through lap one and gradually pulled away from the chasing Szymura and Wu, but a disappointed Al-Kuwari was sidelined with engine issues. The Swede eventually reached the chequered flag 6.36 seconds in front of Szymura, although the German retained his series lead.
Tomorrow’s (Wednesday) action gets underway with further free practice, time trials and the second of the F-4S races. The 19th Grand Prix of China fires into life at 15.05hrs (10.05hrs Doha time).
2013 Grand Prix of China – qualifying results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 45.50 sec
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 45.54 sec
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 45.92 sec
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 46.08 sec
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 46.49 sec
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 47.09 sec
2013 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – positions after round 3
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 52 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 42 pts
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 41 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 24 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 12 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
7. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 9 pts
8. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
9. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 5 pts
2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – positions after race 5 (race 3 cancelled)
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 60 pts
2. Niklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 44 pts
3. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 34 pts
4. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
5. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 29 pts
6. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 20 pts
6. Nikita Lijcs (LAT) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 20 pts
8. Eirik Danielsen (NOR) Team Nautica 19 pts
9. Maicol Chiossi (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 9 pts
10. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Singha Racing Team 7 pts
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