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F1 Qatar's Carella and Torrente top the qualifying times in Sharjah

2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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

For immediate release
Thursday, December 12th, 2013

QATAR’S CARELLA AND TORRENTE TOP THE
QUALIFYING TIMES FOR SHARJAH SHOWDOWN

· Sami Selio flips out of Q2; Carella clinches Pole Position title
· Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly finish fifth and seventh in first F-4S race

SHARJAH (UAE): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente will start what promises to be an enthralling 15th Grand Prix of Sharjah from pole and second positions on the grid after an entertaining qualifying session on Khalid Lagoon on Thursday afternoon.

Both drivers face a winner-takes-all situation in Friday’s race, but their task was made a little easier when championship leader Sami Selio of Finland flipped his boat in the second qualifying session and was not able to take part in the six-boat shoot-out. His demise also meant that Carella clinched the UM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship.

Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe lies fourth in the title race and he will start the showdown race from third position.

Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly finished fifth and seventh overall in the first of the two F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy. Sweden’s Nicklas Friberg snatched the lead on the opening lap and held off a persistent challenge from the new F-4S champion Mike Szymura to take the chequered flag and confirm second place in the championship.

“That is a good start to the two days for us. I am very happy with that. We didn’t have the good luck with the engine problems in Abu Dhabi, but today was our day,” 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 have a 1-2 to start the race. Alex and Shaun know that they need to be careful. This is a team effort and we need them to race in a clean way. I felt sorry for Sami (Selio) that he missed out on Q3. I wanted him to be there to see how good we are. I was confident that we would have got the pole in any case.”

Qualifying

The first qualifying session eliminated six of the 18 entrants on the 2.2km course and Carella and Torrente made a good start and moved to the top of the early leader board with times of 48.89sec and 49.11sec, respectively.

The Qatar Team duo eventually finished the Q1 session in third and fifth places and progressed to Q2, but Ivan Brigada, Paul Shepard, Rinaldo Osculati, rookie Tommy Walhlsten, Bartek Marszalek and Ziwei Xiong were eliminated. Shepard’s boat caught fire and forced a yellow flag situation halfway through the Q1 session.

Torrente set the target time of 48.11sec early in Q2 and Carella slotted into third behind Al-Hameli with a time of 48.17sec. Both drivers ran even quicker soon afterwards and Torrente topped the times with a 47.61sec lap to edge Carella by 0.06seconds. But Carella ran even faster with a lap of 47.44sec to take the top spot with 12 minutes remaining.

The Qatar Team duo made it safely through to the Q3 shoot-out in second and third places with Phillipe Chiappe topping the times with a 47.37 second lap. Yousef Al-Rubayan, Filip Roms, Francesco Cantando, Thani Al-Qamzi, Marit Stromoy and Duarte Benavente were eliminated.

Championship leader Sami Selio flipped his boat near the end of the session and forced a yellow flag situation. Even though the Finn had set the fourth quickest time he was not able to progress to Q3. “Maybe I was trying too hard a little bit and there was an unlucky wave and I barrel-rolled,” said the dejected Finn.

Al-Hameli set the target lap of 47.55sec at the start of Q3 and improved with a 46.78sec second lap. Jonas Andersson’s first lap of 46.82 sec was not enough, as Carella trimmed his DAC perfectly to start with a lap of flying 45.52sec lap to claim provisional pole.

Torrente moved into second place with a first lap of 46.59sec and a better lap of 45.95sec was not enough to beat Carella. Chiappe was the last driver on to the water and he clocked a best time of 46.14sec to qualify in third place.

Torrente suffered a scare in Wednesday afternoon’s extra free practice session when he flipped his boat on the course. It was a warning for the title contender to ease his pace somewhat on Thursday. "Yeah, I was really pushing and got caught up in a gust and that's all it took," said Torrente. "It was a big hit.” Both Selio and Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli also had engine issues.

The team did a superb job to repair Torrente’s boat for the morning’s free practice session and the Miami-based driver slotted into second position behind team-mate Carella with a fastest lap of 44.28sec. Carella topped the charts with a 43.78sec after running for 34 laps.

F-4S – race 1

Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly recorded the sixth and seventh quickest times in a morning’s practice session that was won by the Latvian Nikita Lijcs with a time of 44.09sec.

Lijcs hit form in the timed trials as well to claim pole position for the first of the two 20-minute races with a best lap of 46.28 seconds. Al-Kuwari qualified in fifth – a mere 0.78 seconds behind the Latvian – and Al-Obaidly was eighth of the nine runners.

Nicklas Friberg made the better start and edged into a 2.30sec lead through the first of 25 laps, with Szymura climbing to second and the Qatari duo holding fifth and eighth. The leaders held station through 11 laps, although Szymura had reduced Lijcs’s lead to just 1.23 seconds at the halfway point. Al-Kuwari was fifth and Al-Obaidly was running in eighth place.

There were no late dramas and Friberg reached the chequered flag 2.94 seconds in front of Szymura, with Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly coming home in fifth and seventh places.

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).

15th Grand Prix of Sharjah – qualifying results (Q3)
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 45.52sec
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 45.95sec
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 46.14sec
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 46.78sec
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 46.82sec
Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team DNS

2013 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – final positions
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 93 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 86 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 72 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 58 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 28 pts
6. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 25 pts
7. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 17 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 154 pts
2. Nicklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 110 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 88 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 75 pts
5. Nikita Lijcs (LAT) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 66 pts
6. Aberto Comparato (ITA) Team Nautica 52 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. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 17 pts
12. Maicol Chiossi (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 16 pts
12. Rashid Al-Romaithi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 16 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: 12/12/2013

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