F1 Torrente turns up the heat on Carella as Qatar Team heads to Abu Dhabi


Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - round 4, November 20-21

For immediate release
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


· Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly aim to progress in new F-4S boats

ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team and driver Shaun Torrente had very little time to celebrate last Saturday’s Grand Prix of Middle East victory in Doha Bay before they headed straight across the Arabian Gulf to Abu Dhabi to prepare for Friday afternoon’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, round four of the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship.

Torrente’s thrilling start-to-finish win and the demise of Qatar team colleague Alex Carella after a collision with a course turn buoy means that Torrente arrives at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club trailing his team-mate by just 11 points. There are a possible 40 at stake for the winner at the final two races on Friday and in Sharjah on December 19.

Carella looked to be in control of the defence of his world title after two comfortable victories in Qatar in March and China in October, but racing at the pinnacle of the single hull discipline is an unpredictable pastime and Alex’s failure to score points in Doha has also left the door ajar for Frenchman Philippe Chiappe to weight up his chance of snatching a first ever world title.

Chiappe shadowed Torrente to the chequered flag in Doha Bay and is only 10 points behind Carella, who struggled to find the set-up he liked before last Saturday and who will be leaving nothing to chance in the build up to this race.

“I think I had really bad luck in Qatar,” said Carella. “I actually found the perfect set-up for the race and was pushing hard from third place and challenging Shaun after I passed Philippe. But a wave pushed me into the buoy and I destroyed it. My team did a great job and now I must concentrate on the job in hand in Abu Dhabi.”

Mathematically, Carella could clinch a fourth successive world title in the UAE’s commercial capital. An 11th Grand Prix victory would give the Italian 60 points and Chiappe would need to finish in at least third position to delay the outcome to the final race in Sharjah.

A Carella win would mean Torrente also needed to finish second or third to maintain his title challenge, but it would prevent the likes of Erik Stark or Francesco Cantando from making a late title challenge.

The Qatar Team’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly used their new Danish-built Molgaards for the first time in the pair of F-4S Trophy races in Doha and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed duo showed promise - the highlight being Al-Kuwari’s pole position for race two.

The duo will challenge for F-4S honours again in Abu Dhabi on an event where Germany’s Mike Szymura is a strong favourite to clinch the title with one round to spare. After snatching four wins from five starts, the F1 GC Atlantic Team driver arrives in the UAE with an emphatic 41-point series lead over Australia’s Briney Rigby. Two good finishes in Abu Dhabi will all but the seal the title for the German. Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly lie fourth and fifth in the championship standings.

The timetable of events starts tomorrow morning (Wednesday) with technical scrutineering, registration and an evening drivers’ briefing. F-4S Trophy boats will be permitted on to the water for free practice from 09.00hrs (08.00hrs Qatar time) on Thursday morning and the F-4S time trials follow from 09.30hrs.

The first F1 practice session gets underway from 10.15hrs and precedes the first of the F-4S races at 14.00hrs and F1 qualifying, which takes centre stage from 15.30hrs.

The timetable follows a similar format on Friday morning. F-4S free practice, time trials and F1 practice precede the second of the F-4S races from 14.00hrs. The Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi roars into life from 15.30hrs (14.30hrs Qatar time).

2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – positions after round 3:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 40 pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 30 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 29 pts
4. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 20 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 16 pts
6. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 15 pts
7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 13 pts
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team 13 pts
9. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 12 pts
9. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 12 pts, etc

2014 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – positions after round 3:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 41 pts
2. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 36 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 32 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 30 pts
5. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 24 pts
6. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 22 pts
7. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 9 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 5 pts
8. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 5 pts

2014 F-4S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 95 pts
2. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 54 pts
3. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team 48 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 33 pts
5. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 29 pts
6. Joakim Halvorsen (NOR) Team Nautica 21 pts
7. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 20 pts
8. Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC Team 16 pts
9. Nikita Lijcs (LVA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 12 pts
10. Mickus Sigitas (LIT) Team Nautica 8 pts
11. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 7 pts
11. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
13. Rashed Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 4 pts
13. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 4 pts


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: 18/11/2014

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