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F1 Qatar's Carella takes first win of season and joint series lead in Liuzhou

2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

19th Grand Prix of China - round 3, September 30 – October 2

For immediate release
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

QATAR’S ALEX CARELLA CLAIMS FIRST WIN
OF SEASON TO SNATCH CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

· Qatar’s Torrente misses out on second and climbs back to sixth
· No points for Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari in F-4S; Szymura wins

LIUZHOU (China): Qatar’s defending world champion Alex Carella climbed to the top of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship points’ standings after taking a start-to-finish victory in Wednesday’s 19th Grand Prix of China on the Liu River in Liuzhou.

The Italian was pushed hard early on by his team-mate Shaun Torrente, but electrical gremlins cost the former series leader dearly and he slipped down the leader board before climbing back to sixth at the finish. Finland’s Sami Selio finished second to tie Carella in the championship standings and Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe was third.

The Qatar Team leads the UIM Teams’ Championship by a staggering 25 points after three races.

“I had a really good pace and felt that I could stay with Alex but we had an electrical problem,” said a disappointed Torrente. “It seemed to dry out and I thought I could have got passed Jonas (Andersson) but it was not worth taking the risks. I need the points.”

“I would like to congratulate my team on another fine all-round performance, which sees Alex lead the world championship and Qatar leading the teams’ championship,” said Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, who runs the operation under the umbrella of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.

“We were running one-two before and after the yellow flag and then Shaun had his electrical problem. These things can happen. That is racing. But he managed to finish and get some points. Now we go to Qatar in a good position and can look forward to trying to win the championship again in the Middle East.”

Germany’s Mike Szymura extended his lead in the UIM F-4S championship to 27 points with a narrow 2.05-second victory in the second of the weekend’s 20-minute races. Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari did not finish after engine issues, although he did take part in both the morning’s practice and qualifying sessions.

19th Grand Prix of China

Carella and Torrente had pole positions at the start of the 38-lap race and reaching the turn buoy in front was crucial for the Qatar Team pair. They managed to stay out in front until the yellow flag was raised on the second lap after an incident involving China’s Xiong Ziwei and drivers held station until racing resumed on lap six.

Carella stayed 2.33 seconds in front of Torrente through lap seven and the lead was virtually unchanged four laps later, although both Selio and Chiappe remained in close contention in third and fourth. Duarte Benavente and Francesco Cantando had already retired.

But Torrente hit electrical trouble before halfway, lost second position and slipped down the running, as Selio took up the challenge to Qatar’s defending world champion. The Finn trailed Carella by just four seconds after 19 laps, although Torrente recovered to maintain seventh place in the running order.

The championship leader was now on a charge after his earlier problems and he passed Yousef Al-Rubayan to claim sixth. Carella retained a 3.09-second overall lead over Selio after lap 26 of 38.

Torrente began to close in on both Jonas Andersson and Thani Al-Qamzi in his quest to climb back to fourth behind Carella, Selio and Chiappe. With seven laps to run, Carella’s lead was trimmed to just 1.6 seconds and Torrente was finding it difficult to pass Andersson and snatch fifth position.

Carella managed to hold on and reached the chequered flag for his first win of the season and a joint lead in the championship. Selio was second and Chiappe crossed the line in third. Torrente could not find a way to overtake either Al-Qamzi or Andersson and finished sixth.

The Qatar Team duo ran for 27 and 11 laps in Wednesday morning’s second free practice session and carded the third and fifth quickest times. The morning belonged to Selio; his fastest lap of 46.22 seconds was sufficient to beat Chiappe by 0.24 seconds to win the session.

F-4S

Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari ran for a mere five laps in the morning’s F-4S practice session and carded the third quickest lap of 1min 01.58sec behind Norwegian Jan Andre Landsnes and Sweden’s Niklas Friberg, but further engine problems thwarted his challenge for pole position and he only ran for two laps in the time trials before withdrawing early in the race with engine issues.

Landsnes claimed pole position for the Singha Racing Team, but that was good as it got for the Norwegian, who performed a backward flip to end his chances. Series leader Szymura reached the chequered flag with a slender lead of 2.05 seconds over youngster Morgan Jernfast and extended his championship lead to an impressive 27 points.

Attention now turns to the next round of the series in Qatar’s Doha Bay on November 21-23.

2013 Grand Prix of China – results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 38 laps
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team @ 1.45 sec
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team @ 3.84 sec
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi @ 38.26 sec
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan @ 43.81 sec
6. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team @ 46.95 sec
7. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 1 lap behind
8. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Singha F1 Racing Team 2 laps behind
9. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 2 laps behind
10. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 2 laps behind

2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – positions after round 3 of 6
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 44 pts
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 44 pts
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 39 pts
4. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 35 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 22 pts
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 12 pts
8. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 9 pts
9. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
10. Valerio Lagiannella (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 3 pts
10. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Singha F1 Racing Team 3 pts
12. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 2 pts
12. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 2 pts

2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – positions after race 6 (race 3 cancelled)
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 80 pts
2. Niklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 53 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 41 pts
4. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 35 pts
5. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
6. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 31 pts
7. 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 16 pts
10. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Singha Racing Team 7 pts

Ends

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www.qmsf.org
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Date issued: 02/10/2013

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