F1 Qatar's Carella and Torrente face titanic showdown for F1 H2O world title in Sharjah


15th Grand Prix of Sharjah - round 6, December 12-13

For immediate release
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013


· Sami Selio takes slender lead into ‘winner-takes-all’ final race
· Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly set for F-4S races on Khalid Lagoon

SHARJAH (UAE): The Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex Carella will be in the thick of the drama in what promises to be the most exciting ever finishes in the history of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship at this Friday’s 15th Grand Prix of Sharjah in the UAE.

The Qatar Team duo head to Khalid Lagoon in the United Arab Emirates knowing that outright victory would give either of them the world title. Finland’s double world champion Sami Selio holds a two-point lead in the title race over Torrente and Carella is a further two adrift but, with 20 on offer for first overall and only 15 for second, it’s ‘winner-takes-all’ in the Sharjah showdown. The Qatar Team has already won the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship.

“I have been working hard all season to put myself in this position to win it all on Friday,” said Torrente. “Despite some bad breaks, we are still a flicker away from the title. This is my time and my place in history to do it.”

Carella wants to win a third championship in as many years: “I want this for me and the team because it would give me something that has not been done for 10 years and that is three straight world titles. I’ve never won in Sharjah and I want to go out there and show everyone that I can take the pressure and win it.”

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, is relishing the prospect of the thrilling finale to the season, but is also mindful that it is not guaranteed that the Qatar Team will collect a third successive world title.

“There is definitely pressure this time,” admitted Al-Kuwari. “It’s not like the last two years where we managed to win the title with Alex in Abu Dhabi. This is going to be a fight to the end and, insha’allah, we will get the third title in a row for the QMSF.

“Shaun and Alex have to be careful. They need to drive hard, but be safe to win it. But, they also have to remember that this is a team effort and everyone has worked so hard to put them in this position and hopefully make this happen.”

Al-Kuwari is delighted that the boats are in tip-tip condition for the final race of the season and Brendan Power and the team have got to the bottom of the engine issues that plagued them in recent outings.

“Qualifying on Thursday will be so very important,” adds Al-Kuwari. “I think that Q3 and getting pole position is almost 80% of winning the race.”

Whilst Selio, Torrente and Carella are favourites to lift the title, Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe is also in with a chance of claiming a maiden world championship and, had he not been disqualified in Qatar recently, the Frenchman would be in pole position to claim the championship. He has appealed against the decision and currently lies 10 points behind Selio in fourth place in the points’ standings.

After a miserable Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - where both Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmed Al-Hameli collided at the first corner - the host nation will be aiming to end the season on a positive note. Both Team Abu Dhabi drivers are capable of reaching the podium and upsetting the applecart in terms of points scored by the top four in Sharjah.

Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly will represent the Qatar Team in the final two races in F-4S for the Eurofin Trophy. Al-Kuwari won the sprint races at the UIM Nations Cup in Abu Dhabi last week and currently lies fourth in the F-4S championship.

A couple of good results for the Qatari could well push him into third position at the expense of China’s Bincheng Wu and behind newly-crowned champion Mike Szymura and runner-up elect Nicklas Friberg. “We are monitoring Khalid closely,” said Al-Kuwari. “He is making very good progress, but he still needs time before he makes the jump into F1.”

Technical scrutineering and administration precedes the first extra free practice session on Wednesday afternoon, but the meat of the action gets underway on Thursday.

F-4S free practice and timed trials start from 08.00hrs (Qatar time) and the F1 boats take to the water for the first free practice stint from 09.15hrs (Qatar time). The first F-4S race takes centre stage at 14.30hrs and the vital qualifying sessions will be held from 14.50hrs.

Friday’s action begins with further F-4S practice, time trials and F1 practice at similar times and the second of the F-4S races gets the green flag at 13.30hrs. The 15th Grand Prix of Sharjah showdown is scheduled for 15.00hrs (Qatar time).

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 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 – latest positions
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


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: 10/12/2013

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