F1 Second and fifth for Qatar Team in Abu Dhabi throws title race wide open
2014 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - round 4, November 20-21
For immediate release
Friday, November 21st, 2014
SECOND AND FIFTH FOR QATAR’S TORRENTE
AND CARELLA THROWS TITLE RACE WIDE OPEN
· Frenchman Philippe Chiappe seals victory and championship lead
· Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly second and third in F-4S; Rigby wins
ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex Carella finished second and fifth in a processional Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, the penultimate round of the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater on Friday afternoon.
Frenchman Philippe Chiappe produced a stunning performance from his first ever career pole position to stay marginally ahead of Torrente from the start and seal a second career win and the outright championship lead - on his birthday of all days.
Torrente closed to within a second of the Frenchman on a couple of occasions, but Chiappe had the measure of the Qatar boat on the day by an eventual 6.57 seconds and the result means that the CTIC China team driver takes a three-point advantage to what promises to a thrilling three-way showdown for the title in Sharjah on December 19.
Carella was wedged in fifth place throughout the race and slips to second in the title race, a mere three points in front of his team-mate Torrente and three behind Chiappe.
“That is racing,” reflected Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “It was not our day today. The course was tough. I told the guys that. We could see that from free practice. We tried our best. Now we have to go away, regroup and come back and finish first and second in Sharjah. If Alex wins in Sharjah, he is World Champion again. It will be an exciting race, for sure.”
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly qualified second and third behind Australian rookie Briney Rigby for the second of the UIM F-4S Trophy races.
Rigby led from start-to-finish to record her second win of the weekend, but it was a superb race for the Qatar Team with Al-Kuwari reaching the chequered flag 6.30 seconds behind the youngster to claim second place and Al-Obaidly shadowing him to the finish to put two ecstatic Qatari drivers on the podium.
Rigby now trails Mike Szymura by just 25 points with 40 at stake at the final race meeting in Sharjah.
“I am very happy for them. This is a superb result with the new boats and the new propellers,” added Al-Kuwari. “They have been getting faster at each race and they deserve this result today. I am sure the first win is only a matter of time.”
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Torrente and Carella lined up second and fifth on the start pontoon. They needed to stay in line through the first turn buoy and then Torrente – taking part in his 20th Grand Prix - could begin to pressurise Chiappe and try and snatch the lead of the 37-lap race.
Chiappe made a superb start and managed to hold off Torrente and edge clear. Al-Hameli climbed to third at the expense of Erik Stark and Carella maintained fifth. But Chiappe was in excellent form and began to close on the tail-enders after just four laps. He led Torrente by 4.21 seconds after five laps. Carella was lodged in fifth.
Torrente began to turn up the heat and the gap closed to 2.43 seconds after lap eight, but Chiappe retaliated and the margin grew to 3.11 seconds after 13 laps and to 5.66 seconds through 22 tours of the six-pin course.
The top 10 held station through 25 laps in what was developing into a processional race to the chequered flag. Chiappe and Torrente were in a class of their own and the Qatar driver started lap 28 27 seconds in front of third-placed Al-Hameli.
The gap between Chiappe and Torrente closed to 1.45 seconds with seven laps to run, but Torrente could find no way past the Frenchman and reached the chequered flag in second place. Carella followed Al-Hameli and Selio across the line in fifth.
Carella wanted to find the perfect set-up for the race and he took the morning’s practice session far more seriously than Torrente, who used the first half hour to perfect starts and minor tweaks to his strategy before setting a best lap of 47.05sec later on. Carella ran for 21 laps and recorded a best time of 46.79sec, which was a mere 0.32sec behind session winner Ahmed Al-Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi.
F-4S race two
Briney Rigby set the pace in the morning’s free practice with a best lap of 1min 01.05sec, but the Qatar duo were also in good form and clocked the second and third quickest times, with Al-Obaidly pipping Al-Kuwari by 0.83sec.
No driver was able to break the one-minute barrier in the time trials and the in-form Rigby claimed pole position with a best lap of 1min 00.22sec. Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly were in impressive form again and settled into second and third places on the grid for the second Abu Dhabi race. Series leader Mike Szymura was a subdued sixth but in a superb position to clinch the title with two races to spare.
Briney kept her lead through lap one before the yellow flag was raised after an incident involving Bingchen Wu. Racing resumed on lap four and the Australian maintained her advantage and extended that lead to over seven seconds at the halfway point. Al-Kuwari and Al-Obaidly were running strongly in second and third and both on course to record their best results of the season.
The sixteen-year-old Australian stayed out of trouble over the remaining laps and reached the chequered flag 6.30 seconds in front of Al-Kuwari, who duly recorded his best F-4S Trophy race finish. An equally delighted Al-Obaidly crossed the line in third to give Qatar two boats on the F-4S podium in Abu Dhabi.
2014 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - results:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 37 laps
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team @ 6.57sec
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi @ 29.50sec
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team @ 32.50sec
5. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team @ 34.80sec
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team L1
7. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica L1
8. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica L1
9. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi L2
10. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team L2
11. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team L2
12. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden L2
2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – positions after round 4:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 50 pts
2. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 47 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 44 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 24 pts
5. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 23 pts
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 21 pts
7. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team 14 pts
7. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
10. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 13 pts
11. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 12 pts
12. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 9 pts
12. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 9 pts
14. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 5 pts
14. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team 5 pts
16. Ivan Brigada (ITA) Caudwell Racing 4 pts
17. Tomas Cermak (SVK) Caudwell Racing 1 pt
2014 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – F-4S Trophy race two result:
1. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 20 laps
2. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team @ 6.30sec
3. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team @ 11.46sec
4. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team @ 25.88sec
5. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team @ 32.13sec
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 1 lap behind
9. Rashid Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 1 lap behind
Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC Team RET
2014 F-4S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 119 pts
2. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 94 pts
3. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team 64 pts
4. Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 48 pts
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 48 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. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
9. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 14 pts
11. Nikita Lijcs (LVA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 12 pts
11. Mickus Sigitas (LIT) Team Nautica 12 pts
13. Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 7 pts
13. Rashid Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
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