F1 Team Abu Dhabi's Carella and Al-Qamzi aim to bounce back from Harbin setback in Liuzhou


Grand Prix of Liuzhou, China – October 1-3


· Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qamzi aims to defend massive 25-point lead in UIM F4-S series

LIUZHOU (CHINA): Wednesday, September 28: Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella will be hoping to bounce back strongly from his spectacular accident in Harbin last month, when he tackles this weekend’s Grand Prix of Liuzhou, round five of the 2016 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, on the Liu River in China.

The former leader of the Drivers’ Championship lost ground on his main rivals by failing to pick up any points on Harbin’s Hulan Estuary Wetland Park course and knows that a podium finish is an absolute must on the Liu River if he is to remain in title contention heading to the final two rounds of the series in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in December.

Following Carella’s retirement in Harbin and team-mate Thani Al-Qamzi’s disqualification from 10th position for a lane violation at the start of the first of the two back-to-back Chinese races, Team Abu Dhabi has also lost ground on the CTIC China Team, Baba Racing and the Victory Team in the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship. Carella does, however, lead the UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship by 15 points.

“The crash has made me more determined than ever to get back on track with the win in Liuzhou,” said Carella. “My job is in the cockpit of the racing boat. I am focused, fit and counting the hours to the start.”

Five drivers have moved clear of the chasing pack and are clear favourites to win the 2016 world title. Defending double World Champion Philippe Chiappe tops the points with 52 and currently lies seven clear of Shaun Torrente of the Victory Team. Carella (42 points) is a further three adrift in third, after failing to score in Harbin, and the in-form former double World Champion, Sami Selio of Finland, leapt into contention with victory in Harbin and is a further seven behind Carella. Second position in Harbin for Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson has moved the Scandinavian into a clear fifth place on 33 points.

“We suffered our set back in Harbin, but our drivers are strong and determined individuals and Alex is fit and determined to redress the balance with a race win in Liuzhou,” said Salem Al-Romaithi, assistant general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). “Thani also failed to add to our points’ tally in Harbin and knows that he needs to finish as high as possible to lift Team Abu Dhabi back into contention for the Teams’ title.”

Carella, 31, is a triple World Champion and has an impressive record in the People’s Republic, having won four times in just nine starts and three times in his last five Grand Prix. Chiappe won the race on the Liu River last year on his way to a second title and Al-Qamzi was a fine second for Team Abu Dhabi. Carella and Al-Qamzi were first and third overall in 2014, first and fourth in 2013 and first and second in 2012. Al-Qamzi led a Team Abu Dhabi 1-2 with Ahmed Al-Hameli in 2011.

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). The racing team runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC, racing manager Guido Cappellini and Salem Al-Remeithi.

Rashed Al-Qamzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi will continue to represent Team Abu Dhabi in what is developing into a thrilling UIM F4-S series that supports the main F1 H2O series. Al-Qamzi has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks and the Emirati arrives in Liuzhou holding a commanding 25-point advantage in the championship over Baba Racing’s flying Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and a further four-point lead over Finland’s Kalle Viippo.

Al-Mehairbi holds ninth in the series and is due a change of fortune in the two 20-minute races that precede F1 H2O qualifying and the Grand Prix on Sunday and Monday. Team Abu Dhabi trails Team Sweden by just six points in the UIM F4-S Teams’ Championship.

Liuzhou is located in the interior of Guangxi province on the banks of the Liu River and is approximately 255km from Nanning and 727km from Hong Kong.

Teams will carry out scrutineering and documentation checks on Saturday (October 1) before they are permitted to take to the water for a free practice session in the afternoon. Time trials and the first of the two F4-S races take centre stage at 10.00hrs and 13.30hrs on Sunday (October 2) and are followed by three sessions of traditional F1 BRM Qualifying from 15.00hrs (11.00hrs UAE time).

Further time trials and the second of the F4-S races are scheduled for 09.00hrs and 11.10hrs on Monday (October 3) and the 2016 Grand Prix of Liuzhou fires into life at 15.00hrs (11.00hrs UAE time).

2016 UIM F1H2O World Championship – Drivers’ Championship standings:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 52 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 45 pts
3. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 42 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Baba Racing 35 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 33 pts
6. Filip Roms (FIN) Baba Racing 17 pts
7. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 16 pts
8. Erik Stark (SWE) Emirates Racing Team 12 pts, etc

2016 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship – current standings:
1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 56 pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 41 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Baba Racing 40 pts
4. Erik Stark (SWE) Emirates Racing Team 36 pts
5. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 29 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 29 pts
7. Filip Roms (FIN) Baba Racing 15 pts
8. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
9. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Emirates Racing Team 12 pts

2016 UIM F4-S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Rashed Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 91 pts
2. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NLD) Baba Racing 66 pts
3. Kalle Viippo (FIN) Team Sweden 62 pts
4. Jeremy Brisset (FRA) F1 Atlantic Team 42 pts
5. Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC F1 China Team 39 pts
5. Mohamed Al-Yamahi (UAE) Victory Team 39 pts
7. Magnus Sederholm (FIN) Team Sweden 35 pts
8. Tom Chiappe (FRA) EMIC Racing Team 27 pts
9. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 23 pts
10. Paolo Longhi (ITA) Blaze Performance Team 16 pts
11. Ali Bin Shaiban (UAE) Emirates Racing Team 15 pts
- 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.


Date issued: 28/09/2016

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