F1 Team Qatar's Al-Kuwari steers hosts into Nations Cup contention with Match Race win


Grand Prix of Qatar- round 4, November 21-23

For immediate release
Thursday, November 21st, 2013


· Team Russia seize early initiative in inaugural Qatar Nations Cup
· Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari finishes fifth in first F-4S race

DOHA (Qatar): Match race action for Qatar’s inaugural Nations Cup dominated proceedings on Doha Bay on Thursday afternoon and Team Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari beat Team Russia’s Andrei Panyushkin in the Match race final to secure 25 vital points for Team Qatar and put them in contention to win the prestigious cup on Friday.

Team Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Obaidly was eliminated by Al-Kuwari in the first round after the pair had unfortunately been drawn together. But Al-Kuwari was in inspired form and he disposed of Team UAE’s Rashed Al-Qemzi in his quarterfinal and then beat Lebanon's Lebos Chaguri in a tense semi-final to set up a final clash with Panyushkin in fading light on Doha Bay.

Team Russia will now take a three-point lead over Team Qatar into the sprint races on Friday. Team UAE hold third position.

The Nations Cup is being held in conjunction with the Grand Prix of Qatar, round four of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, which gets underway in earnest with free practice on Friday morning.

It was a hectic day for Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari, who also represented the Qatar Team in the UIM F-4S race for the Eurofin Trophy. The Qatari qualified in fifth position in the timed trials and went on to reach the chequered flag for the 20-minute race in a similar position.

Sixteen-year-old Italian rookie Alberto Comparato reached the chequered flag in first position in his first ever F-4S race and Latvian Nikita Lijcs held off a fierce challenge from series leader Mike Szymura of Germany to finish second. Obaidly also enjoyed his first taste of F-4S racing at the rear of the field.

“I am delighted for Khalid and the team that we managed to win the Match race and that has put us in a great position for the Nations Cup,” said Khalid bin Arhama AL-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.

“Now we need a good finish in the sprint races to stay ahead of Russia. Today was Mohammed (Al-Obaidly)’s first time in a race boat. He usually races aqua bikes, but he did very well and we decided to give him some experience in the F-4 race as well. It’s all part of his development.”

UIM Nations Cup – Match races

Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly qualified for the match races in seventh and 11th positions in a session where Christian Carlsen inverted his Team Norway boat on the far side of the course and Team UAE’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi claimed the quickest time from Team Norway’s Stian Slattendalen.

The draw pitted both the Team Qatar drivers against each other in the first round match race heat and Al-Kuwari won his heat to progress to a quarterfinal showdown with Team UAE’s Rashed Al-Qemzi. Team Russia’s Andrei Panyushkin and Team Lebanon’s Lebos Chaguri also progressed to the quarters.

Stian Slattendalen barrel-rolled out of contention in his quarterfinal and Panyushkin advanced to the semifinal to face fellow countryman Roman Vandyshev. Al-Kuwari disposed of Chaguri to set up the final showdown and Panyushkin pipped his team mate to reach the final.

Team Lebanon’s consolation for missing out on the final in a tense deciding semifinal heat against Al-Kuwari was a third-placed run-off win over Vandyshev. But second and fourth place meant that Team Russia snatched the early advantage in the Nations Cup standings.

Team UAE’s Rashid Al-Qemzi had inverted his boat in Wednesday morning’s free practice session that was won by Team Russia. Both Qatar drivers set the sixth and seventh quickest times, but Al-Kuwari set the quickest time in the storm-aborted second session with a lap of 46.17 seconds.

F-4S - race 1

Al-Kuwari qualified in fifth position for the first of the weekend’s F-4S races behind the impressive class newcomer Alberto Comparato - the son of F1 veteran Fabio - Nikita Lijcs, Mike Szymura and Nicklas Friberg. Al-Obaidly also ran for five laps in the timed trials to gain further experience in a new racing discipline.

Comparato was the class of the field in the F-4S race and he reached the chequered flag 8.88 seconds in front of Lijcs, with series leader Szymura in third when the race finished in fading light.

Al-Kuwari ran for 11 laps in the morning’s F-4S practice and clocked a quickest time of 1min 04.43sec in a session that was won by Comparato. The Team Nautica pilot clocked a best time of 1min 03.70sec.

Tomorrow (Friday) marks the first time that the F1 H2O entrants will take to the water for a first free practice session at 10am and this follows another practice stint for the Nations Cup teams.

The first of two UIM Nations Cup sprint races starts at 13.10hrs and this is followed by the crucial three F1 qualifying sessions at 2pm. A second Nations Cup sprint race brings the day’s action to a close from 15.10hrs.

2013 Qatar Nations Cup – Match race results
1. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar 25 pts
2. Andrei Panyushkin (RUS) Team Russia 22 pts
3. Lebos Chaguri (BRA) Team Lebanon 20 pts
4. Roman Vandyshev (Team Russia) 18 pts
5. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team UAE 16 pts
6. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team UAE 15 pts
7. Saud Hamad (KSA) Team Saudi Arabia 14 pts
8. Naeem Al-Kedawi (KSA) Team Saudi Arabia 12 pts
8. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar 12 pts
10. Stian Slattendalen (NOR) Team Norway 0 pts
10. Christian Carlsen (NOR) Team Norway 0 pts

2013 Qatar Nations Cup – latest positions
1. Team Russia 40 pts
2. Team Qatar 37 pts
3. Team UAE 31 pts
4. Team Saudi Arabia 26 pts
4. Team Lebanon 20 pts
5. Team Norway 0 pts

2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – current positions (unofficial)
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 92 pts
2. Niklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 58 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 50 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 38 pts
5. Nikita Lijcs (LAT) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 35 pts
5. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 35 pts
7. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
8. Alberto Comparato (ITA) Team Nautica 20 pts
9. Eirik Danielsen (NOR) Team Nautica 19 pts
10. Maicol Chiossi (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 16 pts
11. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Singha Racing Team 11 pts
12. Rashid Al-Romaithi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 3 pts
13. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar 2 pts

2013 Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events

Friday, November 22 (provisional)
08.45 – 09.45 Nations Cup free practice
10.00 – 11.00 F1 free practice
13.10 – 13.30 Nations Cup sprint race
14.00 – 15.00 F1 qualifying sessions
15.10 – 15.30 Nations Cup sprint race


For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).


Date issued: 21/11/2013

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