F1 Second and fifth for Qatar's Torrente and Carella in Abu Dhabi qualifying


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

For immediate release
Thursday, November 20th, 2014


· Chiappe and China Team secure first ever career pole position
· Al-Kuwari qualifies on pole for F-4S race; Rigby takes first win

ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex Carella will start Friday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, round four of the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, from second and fifth positions after a scintillating qualifying session at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater on Thursday afternoon.

The Qatar Team duo will lock horns again on Friday afternoon in a crucial race that could either decide the outcome of the world championship or throw the title race wide open again. Torrente also closed to within one point of Carella in the fight for the UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship.

A mere 0.53 seconds separated the top five in the thrilling Q3 shoot-out and Frenchman Philippe Chiappe collected the first pole position of his long career in his 93rd F1 H2O race. Behind second-placed Torrente, Swedish rookie Erik Stark slotted into third place and Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli will start his home race from fourth spot.

Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly were in impressive early form in the UIM F-4S Trophy category. The Qatar Team duo qualified in pole position and third for the first of the Abu Dhabi races, but the race didn’t pan out as the team had hoped.

Sixteen-year-old Australian sensation Briney Rigby snatched the lead on the first lap and extended her advantage to reach the chequered flag 20.84 seconds clear of runaway series leader Mike Szymura. Al-Obaidly finished fifth, but Al-Kuwari was sidelined on lap five of 20 after hooking the boat and striking a turn buoy.


The qualifying session was split into three sections, as per the F1 car racing, and Q1 and Q2 again whittled the field down to just six boats, which would take part in the two-lap shoot-out to determine pole position on the six-pin course.

Chiappe set the early target time of 47.67sec in Q1 and that was surpassed by Torrente’s time of 47.33sec and Carella’s lap of 47.08sec after 11 of the 20 minutes. The Qatar Team duo held on to top the session, but Yousef Al-Rubayan failed to start and Tomas Cermak, Jesper Forss, Ivan Brigada, Duarte Benavente and Ziong Ziwei were also eliminated.

The wind began to increase as the afternoon progressed. A position inside the top six was the target and Carella did his chances no harm at all by posting a lap of 47.19sec to leap to the top of the leader board.

The Italian was overtaken by Ahmed Al-Hameli and Torrente (46.63sec), but both Qatar drivers looked safe in the top six until impressive rookie Erik Stark posted a time of 46.21sec. Torrente (46.20sec) and Carella were classified in first and fourth when the session ended, but Jonas Andersson. Bartak Marszalak, Filip Roms, Francesco Cantando, Marit Stromoy and Thani Al-Qamzi failed to reach Q3.

Selio was the first out on the water in the two-lap shoot-out and he clocked a 47.85sec and improved to record a 47.34sec target. Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli was next up and he stormed to the top of the leader board with an opening charge to 46.21sec and improved with a stunning lap of 45.79sec.

Carella knew the importance of pole position but his opening lap of 45.86sec fell just short and he could not match Al-Hameli’s time on lap two either. Philippe Chiappe took up the challenge and he carded a 46.16sec lap to start with and then snatched provisional pole with a tour of 45.33sec.

Rookie Erik Stark opened his account with a lap of 45.53sec in his first Q3 shoot-out and that was sufficient to move into second with only Torrente left to race and try and achieve a second pole position in the space of a week. His first lap of 45.48sec moved him into second place but he was not able to prevent Chiappe taking a first career pole position.

Philippe Chiappe was the fastest man on the water during the one-hour free practice session on Thursday morning. The Frenchman posted a quickest lap of 45.58sec and that was sufficient to beat an impressive Erik Stark by half a second.

Torrente and Carella ran for 33 and 37 laps to shake down their race boats and were separated by just 0.17 seconds. Torrente was the quicker of the two, in third, with a best lap of 46.11sec.

F-4S race one

Al-Kuwari made the perfect start to the weekend’s racing by setting the quickest time in Thursday morning’s free practice session with a lap of 1min 00.95sec and that was 0.28sec quicker than Briney Rigby. Al-Obaidly clocked the fifth quickest time.

The Qatari was not to be denied in the time trials either and an impressive lap of 1min 00.21sec was enough to claim pole position for the 20-minute race, the Molgaard driver finishing 0.46sec in front of Rigby. Al-Obaidly was in good form as well and the second Qatar driver qualified in third. Series leader Mike Szymura lined up in fifth.

A good start was crucial for Al-Kuwari. But the Qatari struggled to find a good pace from the green flag, was quickly passed by four drivers and all the hard work of claiming pole position was undone. He and Al-Obaidly completed the opening lap in fifth and sixth positions, with Rigby snatching the lead.

The Australian extended her advantage to 7.85sec through lap 6 of 20 but Al-Kuwari hit trouble on lap five. Al-Obaidly maintained fifth. Rigby continued to edge clear of Szymura and she reached the finish 20.84 seconds ahead of the German to confirm an impressive win for Team Sweden and the first ever for the Australian. Al-Obaidly finished in fifth place.

Tomorrow (Friday), 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 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – qualifying results:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 45.33sec
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 45.48sec
3. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 45.53sec
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 45.79sec
5. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 45.86sec
6. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 47.34sec

2014 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – positions after round 4:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 48 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 47 pts
3. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 42 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 36 pts
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 35 pts
6. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 24 pts
7. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 12 pts
8. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 9 pts
8. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 9 pts
10. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 5 pts
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 5 pts

2014 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – F-4S Trophy race one result:
1. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 20 laps
2. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team @ 20.84sec
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC Team @ 38.92sec
4. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team @ 47.86sec
5. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team @ 49.04sec
6. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 1 lap behind
7. Mickus Sigitas (LIT) Team Nautica 1 lap behind
8. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 2 laps behind
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team RET
Rashed Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi RET

2014 F-4S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 110 pts
2. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 74 pts
3. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team 57 pts
4. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 36 pts
5. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 33 pts
6. Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC Team 24 pts
7. Joakim Halvorsen (NOR) Team Nautica 21 pts
8. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 20 pts
9. Nikita Lijcs (LVA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 12 pts
9. Mickus Sigitas (LIT) Team Nautica 12 pts
11. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 10 pts
12. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 9 pts
13. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 7 pts
14. Rashed Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 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: 20/11/2014

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