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F1 Qatar Team's Shaun Torrente earns provisional first GP victory in Qatar

2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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

For immediate release
Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

QATAR TEAM’S TORRENTE EARNS PROVISIONAL FIRST
GRAND PRIX WIN AND OPENS UP WORLD TITLE RACE

· Qatar’s Alex Carella robbed of potential win with mechanical woes
· Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari earns podium finish in second F-4S race
· Qatar’s Obaidly starts F-4S race from back and finishes seventh

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente produced a stunning spectacle of driving to dominate the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar in Doha Bay on Saturday.

The pair was the class of the entire field and looked set for a spectacular 1-2 finish until the fourth round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship ended in dramatic circumstances three laps from the end.

Torrente collided with American Terry Rinker and the latter’s spectacular crash forced a yellow flag situation, during which Carella ground to a halt with mechanical issues. The race finished under the yellow with Torrente leading from Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe.

Torrente was duly handed the victory in the provisional results and at the podium - pending any potential appeal from a rival team - and he will have to wait a little longer to celebrate his first ever official F1 win. If the results are declared final, the American will take a four-point championship lead over Chiappe to Abu Dhabi next weekend, with Carella a further four points adrift in third.

Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly qualified fifth and ninth for the second of the 19-lap F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy. The race was dominated by series leader Mike Sztmura of Germany, who extended his championship lead to 45 points after a sensational start-to-finish win.

Al-Kuwari shadowed China’s Bincgeng Wu to the finish and confirmed third place, while Al-Obaidly was seventh. Al-Kuwari now holds fourth in the points’ standings with four races remaining.

“This was a classic racing accident and it can happen in any form of marine sports,” said Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), on the subject of the Torrente collision. “It was a very exciting end to a race that both our Qatar drivers controlled from the start. The outcome also means we have a very exciting finish to the season in prospect in the UAE now at the last two races in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.”

Grand Prix of Qatar

Carella and Torrente had the perfect starting positions for their home Grand Prix, as they lined up side-by-side at the front of the grid as a large crowd eagerly awaited the start on Doha Bay.

Both started superbly, but Carella was in sensational form and he began to pull away from Torrente and lapped a struggling Paul Shepard at the end of the second lap. Joint championship leader Sami Selio hit trouble on the run out to the first turn buoy after a collision, which also sidelined Francesco Cantando at the start of the 38-lap race.

Carella had extended his advantage over Torrente to 5.34 seconds through lap eight and that margin grew to 7.28 seconds after lap 11. Carella lost a little time in traffic and Torrente reduced the deficit to 6.27 seconds through lap 15. The American was now on a charge and he continued to eat into Carella’s lead. The margin was just 5.75 seconds heading into lap 17.

By halfway, Carella led by 2.14 seconds from Torrente and Andersson, Chiappe and Al-Qamzi completed the top five. The Qatar Team duo were now in a class of their own and enjoying their own spectacle in front of the home crowd on Doha Bay.

The Qatar duo had now lapped everyone up to fifth position ad began to close in on lapping Al-Qamzi. He passed the Emirati on lap 27 and headed out into clear water with an overall lead of 2.96 seconds with 11 laps remaining.

With eight laps to go the gap between the two QMSF-backed drivers was just 3.44 seconds. Rinker spectacularly barrel-rolled out of contention when he collided with Torrente with three laps remaining and the race finished under a yellow flag with Torrente confirming his first provisional GP win in dramatic circumstances when Carella ground to a halt.

The morning’s free practice session was yellow-flagged when Filip Roms and Duarte Benavente both broke down on the course and their boats had to be removed. Chiappe set the quickest lap of 46.07sec in a stint of 28 laps, while Carella and Torrente were just over a second slower in third and fifth places. Eighteen of the 19 entrants took to the water.

F-4S for Eurofin Trophy

After an action-packed two days of Nations Cup action, it was back to the F-4S series for Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly and they performed well from the outset, with Al-Kuwari slotting into second behind Nicklas Friberg and Al-Obaidly running for 11 laps and slotting into eighth in practice.

Friberg kept up his form to snatch pole position for the race with a best lap of 1min 03.08sec and the Qatar pair lined up for the race from fifth and ninth positions after qualifying.

Mike Szymura began the race well and moved into a slender lead, although he came under pressure from Nikita Lijcs until the latter hit overheating trouble and retired on lap five. Al-Kuwari was maintaining a steady pace and he continued to edge through the field; the Qatari held third after 11 of 19 laps although Al-Obaidly was struggling at the back.

Szymura reached the chequered flag with a 27.86-second advantage over China’s Bincheng Wu. Al-Kuwari slipped to fourth behind Friberg for a couple of laps and then reclaimed the final podium place with a handful of laps remaining. Al-Obaidly reached the finish in seventh position.

2013 Grand Prix of Qatar – provisional results (unofficial @ 17.00hrs)
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 38 laps
2. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan L1
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team L1
4. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team L1
5. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team L1
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica L1
7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team L2
8. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team RET
9. Rinaldo Osculati (ITA) Team Nautica L5
10. Terry Rinker (USA) Team Aerbaijan RET

2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – positions after round 4 (unofficial)
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 55 pts
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 51 pts
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 47 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 44 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 27 pts, etc

2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – current positions
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 112 pts
2. Niklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 67 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 65 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 50 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. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Singha Racing Team 18 pts
11. Maicol Chiossi (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 16 pts
12. Rashid Al-Romaithi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 8 pts
13. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar 6 pts

Ends

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

www.qmsf.org
www.f1boat.com

Date issued: 23/11/2013

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