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F1 Team Abu Dhabi's Carella and Del Pin finish fifth and ninth in windy Qatar race

MEDIA INFORMATION

2015 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Qatar, March 12-14

TEAM ABU DHABI’S CARELLA AND DEL PIN FINISH WINDY
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR IN FIFTH AND NINTH PLACES

Start-to-finish victory for Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente; Selio and Al-Hameli crash out
Second F-4S Trophy race cancelled because of windy conditions on Doha Bay
Team Abu Dhabi’s Del Pin and Carella qualify 10th and 11th; pole position for Qatar’s Torrente

DOHA (QATAR): Saturday, March 14: Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella and team rookie David Del Pin finished fifth and ninth in a dramatic Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening round of the 2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, on a tricky and windswept Doha Bay course on Saturday afternoon.

Qatar’s Shaun Torrente claimed pole position and led from the start under a yellow flag to claim a third victory on his team’s home event, also under the yellow flag. Defending World Champion Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team shadowed the American to the finish in second position.

A spectacular collision between two-time World Champion Sami Selio and Ahmed Al-Hameli forced that final yellow flag situation on lap 22 of the 36-lap race. Their demise promoted the Swedish trio of Erik Stark, Jesper Forss and Jonas Andersson into third, fourth and fifth places, but Forss retired near the finish and that lifted Carella into fifth before the race finished under the yellow on safety grounds.

Australian girl Briney Rigby claimed pole position from Bingchen Wu for the 20-minute F-4S race, but fuel pump issues forced Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Remeithi to miss qualifying and the Emirati would have started the race from eighth place. But event organisers deemed the water conditions unsafe for the rookies to venture on to and the second F-4S race of the weekend was also cancelled.

Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).

Time trials

A strong wind was still blowing across Doha Bay on Saturday morning, but race officials were under pressure to ensure that the time trials took place before the wind increased during the morning. Q1 went ahead on schedule and Selio and Torrente laid down the gauntlet with laps of 45.14sec and 45.33sec, respectively. World champion Chiappe and three-time champion Carella cruised safely through Q1 and Team Abu Dhabi rookie Del Pin survived a few ragged edge moments to post a best lap of 47.20sec. Filip Roms, Duarte Benavente, Marit Stromoy and Bernd Enzenhofer were eliminated.

A further six racers would be eliminated in Q2 and set an early target of 45.60sec, with Torrente in close attention with a 45.62sec lap. A troubled Carella left it until the mid-point mark of the session to card a lap of 47.67sec and climbed to ninth and Del Pin was on the bubble in seventh with 10 minutes to go.

Ziwei Xiong, Jonas Andersson, Francesco Cantando were eliminated and both Team Abu Dhabi drivers also missed out on the six-boat shoot-out for pole position points, with Jesper Forss also joining them on the sidelines for Q3. Carella’s disappointment was heightened when fuel pressure issues forced him to stop and this brought out the yellow flag in the final two minutes. “It was one of those sessions where we never had chance to get a clear run with the fuel pressure issue,” said Carella.

Erik Stark, Youssef Al-Rubayan, Ahmed Al-Hameli, Chiappe, Torrente and Selio had two laps each to claim pole position aznd Al-Hameli was in superb form to break the 45-second barrier on two occasions and set the target lap of 44.25sec. Stark got nowhere near the Emirati’s time and Al-Rubayan just fell short with a 44.61sec lap. Chiappe surged into the lead with a 43.30sec first lap, but Torrente crushed the Frenchman with a 42.75sec to snatch provisional pole. Selio aborted his first run and fell short on lap two, as the Qatar Team claimed pole on their home event.

Grand Prix of Qatar

With Torrente on pole and defending World Champion Chiappe lining up in second, Team Abu Dhabi began the 38-lap race from 10th and 15th once mechanics had worked to resolve Carella’s fuel pressure issues. Bernd Enzenhofer was towed off the windy course with engine trouble shortly before the lights went out and the race started under a yellow flag behind the pace boat.

The green flag was eventually raised on lap three and Torrente stormed into a 4.4-second lead over Chiappe, as the boats bounced around alarmingly in the choppy water. Carella and Del Pin held eighth and 14th for Team Abu Dhabi heading into lap six. Torrente extended his advantage over Chiappe to 6.03 seconds after nine laps, as Ahmed Al-Hameli struggled to maintain third with his shorter boat in the windy conditions. Carella and Del Pin were ninth and 12th, but Francesco Cantando retired.

The top three held station through 15 laps and Stark, Selio and Forss held fourth, fifth and sixth places, with Carella and Del Pin in eighth and 12th. By halfway, Torrente’s lead was 14.08 seconds over Chiappe, but the fight for third began to intensify between Al-Hameli, Stark, Selio and Forss. Four seconds separated the quartet heading into lap 22, but Selio and Al-Hameli got caught in a high-speed coming together on the back straight when Selio lost control and ditched his boat into the path of Al-Hameli. The yellow flag was raised. Neither driver was seriously injured, but the impact badly damaged Al-Hameli’s boat and the Emirati was transferred to hospital for observation.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Carella and Del Pin climbing to sixth and 10th before the yellow flag was raised, but Forss was forced out of the reckoning before the finish. Race officials decided not to let the action restart and Torrente won his second successive race in Qatar under a yellow flag after 36 laps with Carella and Del Pin finishing in fifth and ninth.

2015 Grand Prix of Qatar – race result:
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 36 laps
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team @0.95sec
3. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica @2.47sec
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden @4.70sec
5. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi @5.54sec
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica L1
7. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team L1
8. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team L1
9. David Del Pin (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi L1
10. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team L2
11. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team L2

2015 Grand Prix of Qatar – qualifying results:
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 42.75sec
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 43.30sec
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Emirates Team 44.25sec
4. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 44.61sec
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 45.29sec
6. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 47.35sec
10. David Del Pin (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 47.40sec
11. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 47.67sec

2015 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship – after round 1:
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 20 pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 15 pts
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Emirates Team 12 pts
4. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 9 pts
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 7 pts
6. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 5 pts

2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – after round 1:
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 20 pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 15 pts
3. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 12 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 9 pts
5. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 7 pts
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 5 pts
7. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 4 pts
8. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 3pts
9. David Del Pin (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 2 pts
10. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 1 pt

- Ends -

For further media information and information about Team Abu Dhabi:
Please contact: Khalid Al Saadi, Media Incharge, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, P.O. Box 45656, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Mobile Telephone: + 971 50 768 6761, E-mail: alsaadi@adimsc.ae.

www.f1h20.com
www.adimsc.ae


 

Date issued: 14/03/2015

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