F1 Qatar's Carella and Torrente fall short of world title success in Sharjah


15th Grand Prix of Sharjah - round 5, December 18-19

For immediate release
Friday, December 19th, 2014


· Frenchman Philippe Chiappe wins in Sharjah to claim world crown
· Qatar Team wins the 2014 UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship
· Al-Kuwari finishes fourth from F-4S pole; Rigby wins last race

SHARJAH (UAE): Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente overcame two yellow flag situations, but fell short of claiming a fourth successive UIM F1 H2O World Championship title for the Qatar Team in Friday’s punishing 15th Grand Prix of Sharjah on Khaled Lagoon.

The duo reached the chequered flag in second and third positions, but Frenchman Philippe Chiappe led from the start to the finish of the 37-lap race to confirm a first ever World Championship title for the CTIC China Team. Qatar’s consolation was the Team, Fast Lap Trophy and Pole Position Championship titles.

“It was a disappointing day but we cannot win this title every year,” reflected Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).

“It was a tough race. Philippe was very fast and we were not able to close him down. Shaun did well to get back from fifth to third, but it was not to be. Now we will go away for the winter break, assess everything and come back stronger and more determined to win back the title in 2015.”

Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed All-Obaidly qualified in pole position and seventh for the final F-4S Trophy race of the season, but the Qatar Team duo were not able to finish the season with a second win and Al-Kuwari shadowed Briney Rigby, Bingchen Wu and Mike Szymura to the chequered flag to take fourth position.

Grand Prix of Sharjah

The start to the main race was critical and Carella knew that he had to make a move on Chiappe after the run out to the first turn buoy and prevent the Frenchman benefiting from clear water ahead. Torrente lined up in fifth behind the leading duo, Jonas Andersson and Sami Selio for the 37-lap race.

Chiappe made a clean start and edged clear of Carella through the first lap, as Torrente passed Selio to take fourth behind Andersson. Chiappe’s lead was 3.88sec after five laps, but Carella and Torrente were not able to improve on their second and fourth places through lap seven.

Torrente began to apply the pressure on third-placed Andersson as the race progressed, but a yellow flag was raised soon afterwards when Filip Roms pulled up on the racecourse with technical issues. Racing restarted on lap 14 and Torrente managed to pass Andersson and slot in behind Chiappe and Carella.

But Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan flipped his boat on lap 15 and forced a second yellow flag situation while his stricken hull was removed from the course.

Chiappe, Carella and Torrente were bunched up and the restart was critical, but the Frenchman maintained his lead into lap 21 and began to pull away from the Qatar Team duo. His lead was 6.44sec after 25 laps and the Frenchman extended that to 8.22sec into lap 32.

Neither Carella nor Torrente had an answer over the closing laps and Chiappe passed the chequered flag to seal his second win of the season and confirm a maiden World Championship title on his 92nd career GP start in his 12th year of Grand Prix racing.

Torrente and Carella had used Friday morning’s second free practice session to get the best set-up for the race and practice their starts. Torrente did run a few hot laps and posted the third quickest lap of 46.51sec behind the Team Abu Dhabi duo of Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi.

F-4S race 2

Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari was in superb form for the second day running and the winner of Thursday’s race was fastest in second practice and claimed pole position for the final race of the season with a best lap of 56.66sec in the time trials. That was sufficient to beat Briney Rigby by 0.11sec and claim the start advantage for the 20-minute race. Al-Obaidly qualified in seventh after Thursday’s accident.

Al-Kuwari was not able to repeat the success of the previous day and the Qatari reached the chequered flag in fourth position behind Rigby, Bincheng Wu and new champion Mike Szymura.

Grand Prix of Sharjah – race result:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 37 laps
2. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team @ 6.55sec
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team @ 13.41sec
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team @ 15.66sec
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team L1
6. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden L2
7. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team L2
8. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team L2
8. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team L2
10. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica L10

2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – final positions:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 70 pts
2. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 62 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 56 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 33 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 28 pts
6. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 23 pts
7. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 16 pts
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team 16 pts
9. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
9. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
11. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 13 pts
12. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 9 pts
12. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 9 pts
14. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team 8 pts
15. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 5 pts
15. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 5 pts
17. Ivan Brigada (ITA) Caudwell Racing 4 pts
18. Tomas Cermak (SVK) Caudwell Racing 1 pt

2014 F-4S Trophy – final positions (unofficial):
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 146 pts
2. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 126 pts
3. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 77 pts, etc


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: 19/12/2014

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