F1 Qatar Team starts as firm favourite to win GP of Middle East


Grand Prix of Middle East, Doha - round 3, November 13-15

For immediate release
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014


· Qatar’s Alex Carella takes 25-point lead into Doha Bay showdown
· Selio, Chiappe and Andersson aim to bounce back from China disappointment

DOHA (QATAR): The Qatar Team has left nothing to chance in its meticulous preparations for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Middle East, the third round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, taking place in Doha Bay on Saturday afternoon.

After dominating the recent race in China and crushing the opposition in Qatar back in March, the team benefited from recent testing in Florida and both defending champion Alex Carella and team-mate Shaun Torrente arrive in Doha with the bit between their teeth. The Qatar Team has won four of the last five races to be staged in Doha Bay.

“We have made no real changes to the boat set-up,” admitted Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).

“We believe we already have the maximum set-up. We saw at the last race that we were able to beat our main rival Sami Selio by almost 1.4 seconds on a lap. There have been some minor changes to the location of the pit area and some of the facilities on Doha Corniche, but the racecourse is perfect for the Qatar boats. I am confident that we can complete the one-two finish.”

Team Abu Dhabi again misses out on a Qatar race, but the host team still faces stiff competition from the likes of Selio in the lead Mad Croc Racing Team BaBa and the impressive Swedish driver Erik Stark, who impressed many people with his rookie performance to finish second behind Carella in the Team Nautica boat in Liuzhou last month.

Both Philippe Chiappe of the China CTIC Team and Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson suffered disappointing performances in China and know the importance of a podium finish in Doha if they are to stay in touch with runaway leader Carella in the points’ standings.

Alex arrives in Qatar with a 25-point lead in the UIM F1 H2O Drivers’ Championship over a two-way tie for second position involving Stark and Chiappe. Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi and Duarte Benavente lie a further three points behind.

Motorglass F1 Team’s Bartek Marszalek finished an impressive fifth in China and he and Italian team-mate Francesco Cantando will also be eyeing podium finishes on Saturday.

Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan showed an impressive turn of speed to qualify third in China and the F1 GC Atlantic Team racer and colleague Duarte Benavente of Portugal are also capable of reaching the podium.

Impressive Norwegian female racer Marit Stromoy, Selio’s Finnish team-mate Filip Roms, China’s Xiong Ziwei and the Caudwell Racing duo of Ivan Brigada and Tomas Cermak complete the provisional line-up for the F1 H2O field, which will be supported by drivers competing in a pair of UIM F-4S support races.

Mohammed Al-Obaidly and Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari will represent the host nation in the F-4S races. Germany’s Mike Szymura leads Australian Briney Rigby by 25 points after three races.

2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – positions after round 2 of 5:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 40 pts
2. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 15 pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 15 pts
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 12 pts
4. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 12 pts
6. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 11 pts
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team 10 pts
8. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 9 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 9 pts
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 5 pts
10. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 5 pts
10. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team 5 pts
13. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 3 pts
14. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 2 pts

2014 Grand Prix of Middle East - timetable of events

Thursday, November 13
10.00-15.00 Technical scrutineering F1 and F-4S
15.00-17.00 Extra free practice
17.30 Drivers’ briefing F1 and F-4S


For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases). Twitter: @LordPerkins



Date issued: 12/11/2014

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