F1 Pole and second position for Qatar Team in home grand prix in Doha Bay


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

For immediate release
Friday, November 22nd, 2013


· Team Russia win inaugural Qatar Nations Cup; Team Qatar fourth
· Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Obaidly rolls out of second sprint race
· Torrente and Carella second and fifth quickest in free practice

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente qualified in pole position and second place for the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar after a thrilling afternoon’s racing on Doha Bay on Friday.

The local pair dominated the second qualifying session and were the last two drivers on the water for the Q3 shoot-out. Sweden’s Jonas Andersson set the target time of 46.18 seconds and that time looked to be good enough until Torrente set a new target of 45.88 seconds and Carella went even faster with a 45.81-second lap on his first tour of the course to claim pole.

Carella’s performance was also sufficient for the Qatar Team driver to tie Finland’s Sami Selio at the top of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship standings.

Team Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly tried bravely to overhaul Team Russia for the inaugural Qatar Nations Cup. They began the day three points behind their Eastern European rivals and second position for Al-Kuwari in the first of the sprint races kept them in contention after Al-Obaidly had retired with mechanical issues.

The Russians began the second sprint race with a 19-point advantage and the contest was all but settled in their favour at the second turn buoy of the race when Al-Obaidly flipped his boat in front of a large crowd. The Qatari escaped unharmed from the crash and the race was yellow-flagged.

“I came into the corner and there was a wave and the boat dug in and flipped over and we rolled,” said a shaken Obaidly. “The water was low and, when I escaped through the hatch, I was standing on the sea floor. It was very shallow.”

Team UAE held on to take the win after the restart and Al-Kuwari’s third position meant that the host nation slipped to fourth in the final standings behind Team Russia, Team Saudi Arabia and Team UAE.

The Nations Cup was held in conjunction with the Grand Prix of Qatar, round four of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship.

“It was obviously disappointing to miss out on the Nations Cup win but the Qatar Team had a superb consolation prize with the top two places in qualifying for the Grand Prix on Saturday,” 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.

F1 – qualifying

Sami Selio laid down the gauntlet time of 47.05 seconds at the start of Q1 and that time stood the test of time for the entire Q1 session. Torrente and Carella slotted into a safe third and fifth and duly finished the stint with the sixth and seventh times to progress to Q2. Paul Shepard, Ivan Brigada, Marit Stromoy, Valerio Lagiannella, Duarte Benavente, Bartek Marszalek and Rinaldo Osculati were eliminated.

Torrente set the quickest early time of 47.14 seconds in Q2 to virtually be assured of a place in the Q3 shoot-out, but it was soon overhauled by Selio’s time of 47.02. Carella also confirmed his place in Q3 with a time of 47.58 seconds with 12 minutes remaining.

The Qatar Team pair duly survived the Q3 cut-off, with Torrente setting the quickest lap of 46.42 seconds from his team-mate. Terry Rinker forced a yellow flag when he broke down on the course and Xiong Ziwei, Filip Roms, Ahmed Al-Hameli, Francesco Cantando and Yousef Al-Rubayan also fell by the wayside.

In Q3, Andersson set the target time of 46.18 seconds on his first lap but Al-Qamzi’s second lap of 48.28 seconds was not enough to put him into the early lead. Selio’s first lap of 46.25 also fell short of the Swede’s time. Chiappe’s first attempt of 46.58 was not enough either and he maintained second with a second lap of 46.39 seconds.

Torrente’s first lap of 46.42 seconds put him in fourth place, but a superb second lap of 45.88 seconds gave the Qatar driver provisional pole. Only team-mate Carella could deprive the American of pole position and the defending World Champion produced a sensational performance to grab pole with a lap of 45.81 seconds.

All 19 boats took to the water in the morning’s one-hour free practice session and Torrente and Carella clocked the second and fifth quickest times. Phillipe Chiappe clocked a flying lap of 45.48 seconds near the end of the session to claim the fastest time. The session was yellow flagged for a time after Poland’s Bartek Marszalek flipped his Singha F1 Racing Team boat on the far side of the course.

UIM Nations Cup – sprint races

Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly had to overturn a three-point deficit to Team Russia in the two sprint races that took place before and after F1 qualifying. They ran for eight laps in the morning’s practice session and recorded the fifth and sixth fastest times, but the Doha-based duo knew that they would need to up their game in the sprint races to give the host nation any chance of winning the title.

The Team Qatar pairing started the race brightly and held third and fourth behind the two Team UAE boats until Al-Obaidly was forced to slow down with mechanical issues on lap five.

Al-Kuwari continued to shadow Rashid Al-Qemzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi until the seventh lap when the second UAE pilot flipped his boat at turn one and forced a yellow flag situation. The race restarted on lap 12 but was yellow flagged almost immediately when Team Lebanon’s Lebos Chaguri flipped at the same pin.

With time running out, the race finished under a second yellow and Al-Kuwari shadowed Al-Qemzi to the finish with the Team Russia duo of Mickail Kitashev and Dmitri Vandyshev in third and fourth to consolidate the team’s lead in the Qatar Nations Cup.

Al-Obaidly rolled out of the second sprint race at the second turn buoy and the yellow flag was raised while the boat was removed from the course. Al-Kuwari held second at the restart before coming under pressure from Team Norway. The Qatari then settled into third and fended off a late challenge from Team Russia to seal the final podium place, but the host nation slipped to fourth in the Qatar Nations Cup behind Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

F-4S and F1 entrants will take to the course for Saturday’s action. Both groups of drivers will be permitted practice sessions in the morning and the second of the F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy gets underway at 13.30hrs. The 2013 Grand Prix of Qatar takes centre stage from 15.45hrs.

2013 Grand Prix of Qatar – Q3 qualifying results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 45.81 sec
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 45.88 sec
3. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 46.18 sec
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 46.25 sec
5. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 46.39 sec
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 48.28 sec

2013 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – positions after round 4
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 61 pts
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 61 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 57 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 31 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 21 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 17 pts
7. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
8. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
9. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 5 pts

2013 Qatar Nations Cup – sprint race 1 result
1. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team UAE 16 laps
2. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar @ 2.09 sec
3. Mickail Kitashev (RUS) Team Russia @ 5.85 sec
4. Dmitri Vandyshev (Team Russia) @ 10.15 sec
5. Christian Carlsen (NOR) Team Norway @ 23.79 sec
6. Saud Hamad (KSA) Team Saudi Arabia L1
7. Naeem Al-Kedawi (KSA) Team Saudi Arabia L1
Lebos Chaguri (BRA) Team Lebanon DNF
Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team UAE DNF
Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar DNF

2013 Qatar Nations Cup – sprint race 2 result
1. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team UAE 26 laps
2. Stian Slattendalen (NOR) Team Norway @ 3.00 sec
3. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar @ 26.19 sec
4. Saud Hamad (KSA) Team Saudi Arabia L1
5. Roman Vandyshev (Team Russia) L1
6. Naeem Al-Kedawi (KSA) Team Saudi Arabia L2
7. Andrei Panyushkin (RUS) Team Russia L19
Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar DNF
Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team UAE DNS
Lebos Chaguri (BRA) Team Lebanon DNS

2013 Qatar Nations Cup – final positions
1. Team Russia 96 pts
2. Team Saudi Arabia 86 pts
3. Team UAE 81 pts
4. Team Qatar 79 pts
5. Team Norway 38 pts
6. Team Lebanon 20 pts

2013 Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events

Saturday, November 23
09.15 – 10.15 F1 free practice
10.30 – 10.50 F-4S free practice
11.00 – 11.20 F-4S timed trials
13.30 – 13.50 F-4S race 2
15.45 – 16.30 Grand Prix of Qatar
16.45 Prize giving ceremony and podium


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: 22/11/2013

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