F1 Revised Team Abu Dhabi line-up set for first showdown of new season




Grand Prix of Qatar, March 12-14


Team Abu Dhabi’s Carella and Al-Qamzi target outright wins in Grand Prix of Qatar
Frenchman Chiappe returns to defend world title; local hopes rest with Shaun Torrente

DOHA (QATAR): Thursday, March 12: A new season of UIM F1 H2O World Championship gets underway this weekend with the Grand Prix of Qatar taking centre stage at the start of the 11th year of F1 H2O racing on Doha Bay.

Driver and team management changes have made the news out of the water in recent weeks and Team Abu Dhabi head into this weekend’s racing action with a superb chance to take the early advantage in the world’s premier single-hull race series. Three-time World Champion Alex Carella has joined the Abu Dhabi line-up from the Qatar Team and will work with new team manager Guido Cappellini. The added bonus of the experienced Emirati driver Thani Al-Qamzi give the team from the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) a perfect opportunity to get the season off to a winning start.

“I only had chance to drive this boat for 10 minutes in Italy before we came out to Qatar and that is never enough time to get used to it,“ said Carella, who also used the same boat in the Rouen endurance race. “Obviously the plan is to go for the win, but I will have to wait for the next race in France in June to get my hands on my new boat, which is being built in Italy at the moment.”

Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe claimed a stunning maiden World Championship title on the final race of last year in Sharjah and the CTIC China Team driver returns to defend his title. With Carella joining the Abu Dhabi team, host nation hopes rest with the Italian’s former team-mate Shaun Torrente. One of the quickest drivers on the circuit last season, Torrente lines up in a new boat powered by an even more powerful engine tuned by Brendan Power. The American finished third in the title race last season, after being in the hunt for the world crown until the final few laps on Khaled Lagoon, and the team was impressed with the new boat’s performance at a test session in Doha Bay last week.

Adding fuel to a potentially explosive clash on Doha Bay will be the flying Finn and two-time champion Sami Selio of the Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team and Al-Qamzi’s former team-mate Ahmed Al-Hameli, who lines up for a new Emirates Team. Italy’s Francesco Cantando, Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan are more than capable of pushing into the top six and creating an upset, especially in the time trials on Friday.

The Grand Prix of Qatar timetable also features a pair of 20-minute UIM F-4S Trophy races on Friday and Saturday. Germany’s Mike Szymura clinched the title in 2014 after a fascinating late season battle with the Australian girl Briney Rigby. Both are in Doha to begin their 2015 campaigns, while the ever-improving Rashed Al-Qemzi will represent Team Abu Dhabi alongside the likes of Norway’s Joakim Halvorsen, Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Obaidly and the Italian and Dutch rookies, Elisa Leidi and Ferdinand Zandbergen.

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).

Friday’s action on Doha Bay gets underway with free practice and time trials for the F-4S competitors from 09.00hrs. Three sessions of F1 qualifying starts at 3pm.

2015 Grand Prix of Qatar – F1 provisional entry:
Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team
Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team
Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi
Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi
Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Emirates Team
Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team
Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team
Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team
Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team
Bernd Enzenhofer (AUT) Motorglass F1 Team
Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden
Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden
Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team
Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team
Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica
Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica

2015 Grand Prix of Qatar – F-4S provisional entry:
Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Team Qatar
Rashed Al-Qemzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi
Joakim Halvorsen (NOR) Team Nautica
Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden
Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team
Mike Szymura (GER) F1 Atlantic Team
Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team
Elisa Leidi (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team

2015 Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events

Friday, November 13
09.00-09.20 F-4S free practice
09.30-09.50 F-4S time trials
10.00-11.00 F1 free practice
14.00-14.20 F-4S race one – 20min
15.30-16.30 F1 qualifying

Saturday, March 14
09.00 – 09.20 F-4S free practice
09.30 – 09.50 F-4S time trials
10.00 – 11.00 F1 Free practice
14.00 – 14.20 F-4S race 2
15.45 – 16.30 Grand Prix of Qatar
16.45 Prize giving podium

- 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: 12/03/2015

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