F1 Qatar's Torrente and Carella feel the heat and qualify third and sixth in Abu Dhabi
2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - round 5, November 27-29
For immediate release
Thursday, November 28th, 2013
QATAR’S CARELLA AND TORRENTE FEEL THE HEAT AND
QUALIFY THIRD AND SIXTH FOR GRAND PRIX OF ABU DHABI
· Finland’s Sami Selio snatches pole from Frenchman Chiappe
· Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari finishes fourth in first F-4S race
· Mohammed Al-Obaidly gains experience and finishes seventh
ABU DHABI (UAE): Just five days after the thrilling Grand Prix of Qatar in Doha Bay, the Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex Carella were in qualifying action off the breakwater in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to try and take pole position for Friday’s penultimate round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship.
Throttle problems and damaged engines marred their progress in the morning’s free practice session to keep the Qatar Team technicians busy. But the duo qualified for the race in third and sixth positions, with Finland’s Sami Selio snatching pole from Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe with a stunning lap of 44.82 seconds in the six-boat Q3 shoot-out.
Torrente may well have to start the race from the back of the grid, however, after his engine failed on the run out to the start of his first Q3 lap.
Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari was quickest in practice, qualified on pole and finished fourth in the first of the two 19-lap F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy. Qatari newcomer Mohammed Al-Obaidly reached the finish in seventh.
Italian rookie Alberto Comparato secured victory by 18.85 seconds, although Germany’s Mike Szymura closed in on the 2013 title with a solid second place. He now leads the championship by 52 points with 60 available to nearest rival Nicklas Friberg from the remaining three races.
“Today was not our day and we have to accept that,” 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.
“We will look at the engine in Shaun’s boat and make the decision what we have to do. If it means he has to start from the back then we have to accept that. Alex has third position behind Sami and Phillipe. It’s set up nicely for a great race.”
With the top six so competitive at the last few races, the timed trials and the qualifying sessions is vital and both Torrente and Carella wanted to steal pole position.
Chiappe laid down the gauntlet with a time of 46.11sec in the first two minutes of the session, but Selio got inside the Frenchman’s time with a lap of 45.61sec in his replacement boat. Torrente set a flying lap of 45.56sec to snatch the quickest time with six minutes remaining, but Carella was still languishing in 10th until he leapt to fourth with a lap of 46.13sec. The Qatar duo eventually finished Q1 in first and fourth positions. Ivan Brigada, Paul Shepard, Filip Roms, Rinaldo Osculati, Ziwei Xiong and Valerio Lagiannella failed to make Q2 and ninth-placed Jonas Andersson suffered technical issues and stopped in the closing minutes of the session.
Chiappe again set an early target time of 46.14sec in Q2, but Selio and Torrente went quicker and the Finn snatched the advantage with a lap of 45.48sec. Torrente hit the top again with a lap of 45.25sec and Carella moved into the ‘safe zone’ of third with a 45.58sec.
The duo eventually finished Q2 in second and fourth after Selio clocked a session-winning 45.00sec lap, but Andersson, Bartek Marszalek, Marit Stromoy, Yousef Al-Rubayan, Terry Rinker and Thani Al-Qamzi were eliminated. Less than one second separated the top six.
Duarte Benavente laid down the Q3 gauntlet with a first lap of 46.17sec and Al-Hameli improved with a 45.68sec tour. Chiappe snatched provisional pole with a second lap of 45.11sec. Carella fell short with a first lap of 45.50sec and a second lap of 45.28sec put the Qatar driver into second with Torrente and Selio to run.
But Torrente’s engine shut down at the start of the first lap and ruined his chance of taking pole position. Selio duly snatched pole from Chiappe with a stunning first lap of 44.82sec to push Carella into third.
The Qatar Team endured a disappointing practice session. Carella eventually ran for 13 laps and finished the hour with the second quickest time of 45.76sec, despite breaking two engines during the morning. Chiappe set the fastest lap of 45.52sec to win the session from Carella, Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli and Selio.
Torrente’s boat was repaired after the Doha race when it arrived in Abu Dhabi and the series leader was only able to run for two laps in practice before a throttle problem ended his time on the water. He returned in the closing minutes but was not able to record a competitive time.
Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari continued the form he showed last week in Qatar to win the morning’s free practice session with a lap of 1min 03.09sec during an 11-lap stint on the water. Nicklas Friberg was his closest rival, albeit 0.67sec behind, and Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Obaidly ran for seven laps and was classified seventh of the eight runners.
Al-Kuwari continued his excellent form into the timed trials as well and earned pole position for the first of the two 19-lap races with a best lap of 1min 03.10sec. Friberg and Italian rookie Alberto Comparato were his closest challengers; Al-Obaidly qualified seventh.
Friberg was forced to start the race at the back of the field after engine issues but it was Comparato who made the better start and led through lap one from Szymura and Al-Kuwari. Al-Obaidly slipped to eighth.
The leaders held station through five laps, although Al-Kuwari began to come under pressure from a resurgent Friberg, who had climbed through the field into fourth. Al-Kuwari dug in and he too began to close in on Szymura heading into the remaining 11 laps. Al-Obaidly climbed to seventh when Jan-Andre Landsnes retired.
Friberg managed to find a way past Al-Kuwari on lap 11 of 19 and began to challenge Szymura for second place. But the German held on and shadowed Comparato to the chequered flag, with Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly finishing in fourth and seventh places.
There are further free practice sessions on Friday morning and they precede the second of the F-4S races at 13.00hrs (Qatar time) and the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at 14.30hrs (Qatar time).
2013 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – qualifying results
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 44.82sec
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 45.11sec
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 45.28sec
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 45.68sec
5. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 46.17sec
6. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team DNS
2013 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – positions after round 5
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 81 pts
2. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 73 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 57 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 46 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 21 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 17 pts
7. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 16 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
9. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 7 pts
10. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 5 pts
2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – after race one in Abu Dhabi
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 127 pts
2. Niklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 75 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 72 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 59 pts
5. Alberto Comparato (ITA) Team Nautica 40 pts
6. Nikita Lijcs (LAT) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 37 pts
7. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 35 pts
8. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
9. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Singha Racing Team 21 pts
10. Eirik Danielsen (NOR) Team Nautica 19 pts
11. Maicol Chiossi (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 16 pts
12. Rashid Al-Romaithi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 13 pts
13. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar 10 pts
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