F1 Qatar's Carella and Torrente set up thrilling F1 H2O showdown in Sharjah
2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - round 5, November 27-29
For immediate release
Friday, November 29th, 2013
QATAR’S CARELLA AND TORRENTE TAKE THIRD AND FIFTH
IN ABU DHABI TO SET UP GRIPPING TITLE SHOWDOWN
· Finland’s Sami Selio wins in Abu Dhabi to lead title race
· Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari finishes fourth in second F-4S race
· Mohammed Al-Obaidly in eighth; F-4S title for Germany’s Szymura
ABU DHABI (UAE): Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente set up a thrilling showdown for the UIM F1 H2O World Championship by taking third and fifth positions in Friday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
The race was yellow-flagged on the run out to the first turn buoy when both Team Abu Dhabi boats collided. Finland’s Sami Selio, who had qualified on pole, led from the restart to secure his second win in Abu Dhabi to take a two-point lead in the championship to the final round in Sharjah on December 13.
Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe started second and held off the challenge from Carella to secure the runner-up spot to keep his title hopes alive. “Today was important for everybody, I needed to get back into the championship,” said Carella.
Torrente started the race from 11th and climbed through the field to shadow an impressive Marit Stromoy to the finish in fifth place. He now trails Selio by two points with Carella a further two points adrift. “The plan was to go really hard, really fast from the start,” said Torrente. “But then it was a case of easing off near the finish to conserve the points we had.”
“I am actually quite happy with the result,” 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.
“Both our drivers scored points on a difficult weekend. It means that we go to Sharjah knowing that one of our drivers has to beat Sami Selio and they will be World Champion. Whoever wins the race will win the title!”
Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari qualified in sixth position for the second of the F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy on day three of the Abu Dhabi Water Festival and he reached the chequered flag in fourth place in a race that developed into a procession after the opening lap.
Victory fell to Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs by 4.73 seconds from Sweden’s Nicklas Friberg. Mike Szymura finished third and that was enough for the German to clinch the 2013 Drivers’ Championship with two races remaining. Qatari newcomer Mohammed Al-Obaidly was eighth.
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
The engine woes forced Torrente to start the 39-lap race from 11th position on the grid, as Carella slotted into third behind Selio and Chiappe. Duarte Benavente was sidelined before the start with boat de-lamination.
Selio made a storming start into the first turn buoy, but the race was dramatically yellow flagged when Team Abu Dhabi team-mates Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli collided and were forced into retirement.
The green flag was raised on lap four and Selio maintained his lead from Chiappe, Carella, Yousef Al-Rubayan, Marti Stromoy and a flying Torrente. The Qatar Team driver passed Al-Rubayan and climbed to fifth on lap six and the Qatar duo maintained third and fifth through lap 10.
By lap 15, Selio led Chiappe by 3.72 seconds and Carella was 6.83 seconds adrift. Torrente continued to pressure Stromoy for fourth, but the race was yellow-flagged for a second time on lap 18 when Xiong Ziwei flipped his boat at turn four.
Action restarted on lap 22 and the leading quintet held station, although Stromoy was driving superbly to hold off the Torrente challenge for fourth position. Selio maintained his advantage and he reached the chequered flag 2.41 seconds in front of Chiappe. Carella and Torrente finished third and fifth with Stromoy taking a career-best finish in fourth, sandwiched between the two Qatar drivers.
Sterling work by the Qatar Team technicians ensured that Torrente’s boat was ready and fighting fit in time for the morning’s free practice session and the American paid them back handsomely by setting the fastest lap of 45.66 seconds during his 26 laps on the water. Carella slotted into fourth behind the Team Abu Dhabi duo of Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli. Seventeen of the 18 entrants took to the water.
Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari ran for 11 laps in the first practice session and slotted into fourth position with a best lap of 1min 03.09sec. Mohammed Al-Obaidly used the session to run for 11 laps and he was eighth quickest in the stint that was won by the Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs with a lap time of 1min 02.02sec
Al-Kuwari recorded a best lap of 1min 04.54sec to slot into sixth position on the grid for the race. The promising Italian Aberto Comparato claimed pole for the 19-lap race from Sweden’s Nicklas Friberg.
Lijcs was the man in form in the race and the Latvian hit the front early on and edged into a slender lead from Friberg and Szymura. Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly were running in fourth and eighth.
Lijcs maintained a constant lead over Friberg, but the battle for third was somewhat closer and Szymura was shadowed by Al-Kuwari and Comparato to the chequered flag with three seconds separating the trio. Al-Obaidly brought up the rear of the field in eighth.
2013 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – results
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 39 laps
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team @ 2.41sec
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team @ 5.41sec
4. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica @ 11.53sec
5. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team @ 20.84sec
6. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team L1
7. Terry Rinker (USA) Team Azerbaijan L2
8. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team L2
9. Valerio Lagiannella (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team L2
10. Ivan Brigada (ITA) Caudwell Racing L5
2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – positions after round 5
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 64 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 62 pts
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 60 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 54 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 27 pts
6. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 26 pts
7. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 22 pts
8. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 18 pts
9. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
10. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 10 pts
11. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 9 pts
12. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts, etc
2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – after race two in Abu Dhabi
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 139 pts*
2. Niklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 90 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 76 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 68 pts
5. Nikita Lijcs (LAT) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 57 pts
6. Aberto Comparato (ITA) Team Nautica 47 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 26 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
12. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 13 pts
* denotes 2013 UIM F-4S champion
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