F1 Alex Carella wins Sharjah race to confirm Qatar's third successive world title
2013 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
15th Grand Prix of Sharjah - round 6, December 12-13
For immediate release
Friday, December 13th, 2013
QATAR’S ALEX CARELLA WINS SHARJAH RACE
TO CONFIRM THIRD SUCCESSIVE WORLD TITLE
· Qatar’s Shaun Torrente snatches third to finish runner-up in series
· Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly finish F-4S season with fourth and sixth
SHARJAH (UAE): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella led from start-to-finish to seal a third successive UIM F1 H2O World Championship title with a stunning victory in Friday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah on Khalid Lagoon.
Despite initial pressure from team-mate Shaun Torrente and then from race runner-up Phillipe Chiappe, Carella held his nerve to reach the chequered flag 1.98 seconds in front of the Frenchman. Torrente finished third and confirmed second position in the world championship.
There were no Friday the 13th gremlins on this occasion and Carella duly entered the history books with his third world title success. Italian racing legend Guido Cappellini was the last man to win three successive world titles between 2001 and 2003.
Finland’s Sami Selio lost his slim chance of taking a third world title with technical problems on the 22nd lap and this left the door open for Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli to finish fourth, with fellow Emirati Thani Al-Qamzi and Italian Francesco Cantando rounding off the top six.
“This was a superb performance by the entire team. I am so happy right now,” 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.
“Congratulations to Alex on his superb drive and also to Shaun, who pushed him all the way. It was another tremendous season for everyone at the QMSF and I would like to thank Sheikh Hassan for his support and all our team for their hard work. We have now won the last three world titles. This is a superb achievement for everyone connected with the Qatar Team.”
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly qualified sixth and eighth for the final UIM F-4S race of the season for the Eurofin Trophy and reached the chequered flag for the 25-lap race in fourth and sixth places.
Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs led from pole position and on through a yellow flag situation to beat the new F-4S champion Mike Szymura by 6.31 seconds. Italian youngster Aberto Comparato finished third.
The Sharjah showdown
Selio’s BaBa was too badly damaged in Thursday’s Q2 accident to be used in the race, but team mate Filip Roms – who had qualified in seventh position – offered the Finnish championship leader his boat and Selio duly took his place down the grid in 13th position, with Carella, Torrente and Chiappe leading the way at the front.
The UIM also decided to throw out Chiappe’s appeal against his Qatar disqualification on Friday morning and the race began without the cloud of an appeal hanging over the racers’ heads.
Carella made a superb start and surged into a stunning lead through lap one. His lead was up to 2.13 seconds through lap two, as Selio moved up from 13th to eighth. Carella continued to edge away from Torrente and the lead was up to 3.16 seconds through lap five of 38, but the American trimmed that lead back to 2.5 seconds after lap six.
Yousef Al-Rubayan was forced to run a drive-through penalty lap and this lifted Selio to seventh, as Carella continued to hold off Torrente and Chiappe at the front of the field. The defending World Champion’s lead was 2.04 seconds at one-third distance, but Torrente began to edge further clear of Chiappe.
Carella’s lead was 3.32 seconds at the halfway point and Torrente was running over two and a half seconds in front of Chiappe. Selio maintained seventh, but was unable to make in-roads into Thani Al-Qamzi’s hold on sixth place.
Chiappe began to pressurise Torrente for second and the gap was 1.52 seconds after lap 22 and the Frenchman managed to pass Torrente and snatch second as Selio ground to a halt on the course and lost his chance of winning the world title. It was now Carella against Chiappe and Torrente for the world championship.
Chiappe had reduced Carella’s lead to 4.3 seconds through lap 27, but Torrente began to drop behind and the title pendulum swung in Carella’s favour. The Italian held his nerve after intense pressure from Chiappe late on to reach the chequered flag and claim the coveted third title.
Torrente had topped the morning’s practice times with a flying 47.11sec tour of the course during 25 laps on the water. Carella ran for 13 laps and posted the fifth quickest time.
F-4S – race 2
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly ran for five and 13 laps during the morning’s free practice session and posted the third and seventh quickest times. Only Nicklas Friberg and Nikita Lijcs managed to break the 50-second barrier.
The Qatari duo qualified for the race in sixth and eighth places, with pole position falling to Lijcs and Friberg and Szymura lining up in second and third. Lijcs managed to hold his lead through the opening lap, but Szymura passed Friberg to take second, as the Qatar duo moved up to fifth and seventh.
The Latvian extended his advantage through the subsequent few laps and China’s Bincheng Wu managed to pass a struggling Friberg and take third. But the yellow flag was raised on lap seven after a turn buoy came adrift and this lifted the Qatar duo to fourth and sixth.
Al-Kuwari slipped to fifth after the restart, but then managed to pass Wu and slot into fourth behind Aberto Comparato. The Qatari held that position to the finish, with Lijcs staying out in front of Szymura and Al-Obaidly finishing sixth.
15th Grand Prix of Sharjah – race result
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 38 laps
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team @1.98 sec
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team @26.64 sec
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi L1
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi L2
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team L3
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Singha F1 Racing Team L3
8. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team L3
9. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team L4
2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – final positions
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 80 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 74 pts
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 69 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 64 pts
5. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team 29 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 29 pts
7. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 27 pts
8. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 18 pts
9. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 17 pts
10. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 16 pts
11. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 11 pts
12. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 10 pts
2013 F-4S Eurofin Trophy –final positions
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) Atlantic Team/Interpass/GC 169 pts
2. Nicklas Friberg (SWE) Team Azerbaijan 110 pts
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 95 pts
4. Nikita Lijcs (LAT) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 86 pts
5. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 84 pts
6. Aberto Comparato (ITA) Team Nautica 64 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. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 22 pts
11. Eirik Danielsen (NOR) Team Nautica 19 pts
12. Rashid Al-Romaithi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 17 pts
13. Maicol Chiossi (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 16 pts
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