F1 Team Abu Dhabi bids to claim Teams' title in Sharjah


Grand Prix of Sharjah, December 16-18


Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Mehairbi and Al-Qamzi aim to finish F-4S season on a high; Szymura chases second title

SHARJAH (UAE): Sunday, December 13: Alex Carella heads to Sharjah this week chasing the runner-up spot in the UIM F1 H2O World Championship and hoping to support team-mate Thani Al-Qamzi in defending Team Abu Dhabi’s slender two-point lead in the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship.

Buoyant after finishing first and third at last Friday’s home Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, Carella and Al-Qamzi are relishing the opportunity to build on the momentum they showed at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater. They are hoping to end the season with the winning double of another Grand Prix win and the Teams’ Championship to add to the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship title and the runner-up spot in the UIM XCAT World Series that Team Abu Dhabi claimed on home waters last month.

With the UIM F1 H2O World Championship already decided in favour of Frenchman Philippe Chiappe for a second successive year, Carella arrives at Sharjah’s Khaled Lagoon tied on 39 points with the Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente and holding joint second in the drivers’ standings.

The Italian knows he has nothing to lose by pushing for a second victory in the space of eight days and is confident that he can claim a second personal victory in Sharjah to add to his success in 2013 and the runner-up spot last year. Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan is a point behind Torrente and Carella and quite capable of upsetting the applecart with a good performance in Sharjah, while Jonas Andersson, Sami Selio and Erik Stark could also finish second if results go their way on Friday.”

“In recent years the championship has been decided in Sharjah, but this time it’s a race where everyone will be pushing for the win. Shaun and I are tied for second place and Yousef is close behind. We will all have the same goal in Sharjah, to win the race and try and finish second in the championship behind Philippe. I also need to finish the race to make sure that we have the best possible chance of winning the Teams’ Championship.”

Al-Qamzi also has a good record in Sharjah and won the race in 2012 for Team Abu Dhabi. He can mathematically still finish second in the Drivers’ Championship as well, but the Emirati will be hoping to score as many points as possible to enable his team that is based at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club to finish the season in front of the China CTIC outfit and claim the prestigious teams’ prize.

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).

Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qamzi showed impressive speed last weekend and will be keen to maintain that form at the final two UIM F-4S Trophy races. They were particularly impressive in the time trials and Al-Mehairbi achieved a second runner-up spot this season during race two in Abu Dhabi last Friday. A couple of podium finishes could easily ensure that he confirmed second place in the championship.

Finland’s Anton Nyholm won both of the Abu Dhabi races and, while he starts as the clear favourite to continue that form in his Team Sweden Molgaard, Germany’s Mike Szymura requires just four points from a potential 40 on offer if he is to retain his UIM F-4S title for a second year.

The weekend’s timetable kicks off with registration and technical scrutineering on Wednesday morning (December 16) and drivers will be permitted to carry out their first practice from 15.00hrs. Further practice and time trials follow for the F-4S boats on Thursday morning and these 20-minute sessions precede a second one-hour practice session for the F1 boats from 10.15hrs. The first of two F-4S races starts at 14.30hrs and is followed by the crucial F1 qualifying from 15.30hrs.

F-4S practice and time trials will be repeated from 09.10hrs on Friday morning (December 18) and the leading teams will be permitted a third and final practice session on the Khaled Lagoon course from 10.15hrs. The second of the F-4S races takes centre stage at 14.30hrs and the Grand Prix of Sharjah roars into life and draws the curtain on another thrilling season of UIM F1 H2O racing from 15.30hrs.

2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – after round 5:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 70 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 39 pts
2. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 39 pts
4. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 38 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 29 pts
7. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 28 pts
8. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 27 pts
9. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 19 pts
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 18 pts

2015 UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship – after round 5:
1. Team Abu Dhabi 73 pts
2. CTIC China Team 71 pts
3. F1 GC Atlantic Team 47 pts
3. Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 47 pts
5. Team Sweden 36 pts
6. Team EMIC 35 pts
7. Emirates Team 23 pts
8. Victory Team 19 pts

2015 UIM F-4S Trophy – current standings:
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 94 pts
2. Joakhim Halvorsen (NOR) Team EMIC 58 pts
3. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 51 pts
4. Anton Nyholm (FIN) Team Sweden 40 pts
5. Rashed Al-Qemzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 35 pts
6. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 31 pts
7. Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 30 pts
8. Christian Cesati (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 27 pts
9. Mansoor Al-Mansoori (ARE) Emirates Team 24 pts
9. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 24 pts
11. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 14 pts
12. Rashed Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 6 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: 13/12/2015

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