F1 Qatar's Alex Carella storms to pole position in Liuzhou's Grand Prix of China
2014 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of China - round 2, October 4-6
For immediate release
Sunday, October 5th, 2014
QATAR TEAM’S ALEX CARELLA STORMS TO POLE
POSITION IN LIUZHOU’S GRAND PRIX OF CHINA
· Qatar’s Shaun Torrente spins out of Q2 and qualifies in ninth place
· Sixth and seventh for Qatar’s Al-Obaidly and Al-Kuwari in F-4S
LIUZHOU (CHINA): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente will line up in pole and ninth positions for Monday’s Grand Prix of China on Liuzhou’s Liu River.
Carella, the defending UIM F1 H20 World Champion, was the class of the field in qualifying on Sunday and a single stunning lap of 44.60sec in his delayed Q3 shoot-out was enough to beat Finland’s Sami Selio to pole position. Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan qualified in third place.
Torrente blotted his copybook at the start of Q2 and a driving error cost him the chance of taking pole position. “I usually know where I make a mistake, but I wasn’t sure this time and it (the boat) just went round on me. I’m disappointed and angry with myself,” said Torrente, who finished in ninth place. “I knew it was going to be between me and Alex. Now the guys have to stay up all night to fix the boat and I’m annoyed about that.”
“Alex was our hero today. He is such a good driver,” 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.
“It was disappointing for Shaun to have a spin, but he is a fighter and I am sure he will pass some drivers at the start of the race and move back up the field. The impressive thing for me was the speed of Alex in Q3. To beat Sami Selio, a former World Champion, by 1.39 seconds was very impressive!”
The Qatar Team’s Mohamad Al-Obaidly and Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari finished sixth and seventh overall in the first of the Liuzhou F-4S races. Germany’s Mike Szymura claimed pole position and went on to win the race and take a comfortable championship lead. Australian rookie Rigby Briney was second for Team Sweden.
Eighteen drivers commenced the first of the three qualifying sessions on the six-pin course on the Liu River and the six slowest would be eliminated in Q1. Phillipe Chiappe set the early target lap of 46.89sec, but that was soon eclipsed by a Torrente lap of 46.70sec and a Carella tour of 46.50sec, as the Qatar Team duo hit the front and returned to the pits to wait for Q2. Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli won the session with a lap of 46.42sec.
Ivan Brigada failed to start and was automatically eliminated and the Italian was joined by Tomas Cermak, Xiong Ziwei, Marit Stromoy, Jesper Forss and Bartek Marszalek after Q1.
Six further boats would be eliminated in Q2 and there was disappointment for Torrente, who spun out of the session on turn four and forced a yellow flag to be raised while his boat was removed from the course.
Qualifying resumed and Carella was able to post a quickest lap of 48.16sec before an incident involving Filip Roms forced a second yellow flag and Ahmed Al-Hameli was also eliminated. No driver was able to match Carella’s time and the Qatar driver sailed into Q3. Chiappe, Erik Stark and Thani Al-Qamzi joined Roms, Torrente and Al-Hameli on the list of eliminations.
Former World Champion Sami Selio was the first of the six racers on the course in the Q3 shoot-out and the Finn posted an opening lap of 45.99sec to set the target time. Portugal’s Duarte Benavente was unable to match the Finn on his only lap of 47.89sec and that left the door open for Sweden’s Jonas Andersson – the pole winner at the opening race in Qatar – to challenge Selio’s time.
The Swede aborted his opening lap because of a couple of freak larger waves on the course and a second tour of 47.91sec was not sufficient to match Selio. Kuwaiti Yousef Al-Rubayan was next up and he posted a first lap of 48.12sec before moving up to second position with a final lap of 47.83sec.
Francesco Cantando was the fifth driver on to the water after a short delay in deteriorating water conditions. He cruised through lap one to check out the water conditions, but was only able to post a time of 49.20sec on his second lap.
That left the course clear for Carella to try and stop Selio taking pole position and he stormed to pole position with a stunning time of 44.60sec.
The Qatar Team was back into winning ways from the outset on Sunday, despite the near seven-month lay-off from competitive action. Torrente was the class of the field in the first practice session, the American posting a quickest lap of 45.42sec to beat Carella by just 0.25sec. Chiappe was third quickest with a time of 46.30sec.
F-4S – race 1
Mike Szymura claimed pole position for the first of the F-4S races, the German posting a best lap of 48.06sec to edge out Joakim Halvorsen of Team Nautica to the top spot. Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly qualified in third and seventh positions of the eight boats that entered the session.
Szymura led from start-to-finish and held on to reach the chequered flag first and claim the maximum 20 points. Sixteen-year-old Australian rookie Rigby Briney of Team Sweden finished runner-up and Jan Andre Landsnes of the Motorglass F1 Team was third. The Qatar Team’s Al-Obaidly and Al-Kuwari finished the first F-4S race in sixth and seventh in the nine-boat field, although the latter had retired after 19 of the 22 laps with engine issues.
Racing reaches a conclusion tomorrow (Monday). Further practice and F-4S time trials on Monday morning will be followed by the second of the F-4S races at 11.40hrs (06.40hrs Doha time) and the 2014 Grand Prix of China at 15.10hrs (10.10hrs Doha time).
Grand Prix of China – qualifying results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 44.60sec
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 45.99sec
3. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 47.83sec
4. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 47.89sec
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 47.91sec
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 49.20sec
2014 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – positions after round 2:
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 30 pts
2. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 29 pts
3. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 27 pts
4. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 17 pts
5. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 12 pts
6. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 9 pts
7. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 7 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 5 pts
2014 F-4S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 35 pts
2. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 20 pts
3. Rigby Briney (AUS) Team Sweden 15 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 13 pts
5. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team 12 pts
5. Nikita Lijcs (LVA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 12 pts
7. Mohamad Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 10 pts
8. Joakim Halvorsen (NOR) Team Nautica 9 pts
9. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 7 pts
9. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
11. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 3 pts
12. Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC Team 2 pts
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: email@example.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases). Twitter: @LordPerkins