F1 Stunning Grand Prix of France win for Team Abu Dhabi's Carella
2015 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
19th Grand Prix of France, June 26-28
TEAM ABU DHABI’S ALEX CARELLA SEALS STUNNING VICTORY IN GRAND PRIX OF FRANCE
Second place for Finland’s Sami Selio; Kuwait’s Al-Rubayan finishes third
Pole position for World Champion Chiappe; Team Abu Dhabi’s Carella starts race from third
ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS (FRANCE): Sunday, June 28: Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella clinched a sensational victory in Sunday’s 19th Grand Prix of France, round two of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship, on Lac Leman in Évian-les-Bains. The Italian now leads the series by two points.
The three-time World Champion led from the halfway point and managed to stay well clear of the Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente until the yellow flag was raised on lap 25 after a collision between Erik Stark and Francesco Cantando. Racing did not resume and Carella reached the chequered flag under a yellow flag, with Torrente pulling off the course with two laps to run under the yellow flag with reported fuel issues.
Finland’s former World Champion Sami Selio held on to claim second position and Kuwait’s Youssef Al-Rubayan of the F1 GC Atlantic Team sealed the final podium position.
“This is a fantastic win for our new team and everyone at Team Abu Dhabi. But we still have a way to go to get a full understanding of the boat,” said a delighted Carella. “It’s a completely new package, so we have to work a bit to find the maximum and to find the balance with the boat and the propeller. But this is a major boost for everyone and shows that we are on the right track.”
Defending World Champion Philippe Chiappe claimed pole position and managed to hold off a fierce Carella challenge through the opening laps, as the duo began to pull away from the rest of the field. He held a slender lead until mechanical problems intervened on lap 17 and handed Carella the advantage he held to the finish.
Grand Prix of France
Chiappe claimed pole position in Sunday morning’s re-scheduled Q3 session, the Frenchman posting a fastest lap of 47.69sec to claim the best spot to start the 34-lap race and move into the lead of the UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship.
Youssef Al-Rubayan started the race from second after carding a lap of 47.83sec and Carella slotted into third place with a time of 47.84sec for Team Abu Dhabi. Shaun Torrente, Sami Selio and Jonas Andersson filled the minor places in the top six.
Seventeen of the 19 entrants reached the start, with Team Abu Dhabi’s David Del Pin and Austrian Bernt Enzenhofer of the Motorglass F1 Team missing out on the race after their problems on Saturday. Chiappe made a solid start to maintain his advantage, but Al-Rubayan slipped to fourth behind Carella and Torrente, as the boats completed the opening lap.
Chiappe and Carella began to edge away from Torrente and the chasing pack, but the Italian trailed Chiappe by 2.02sec through lap five. Ahmed Al-Hameli of the Emirates Team was struggling at the rear of the field in 17th place. Carella began to apply the pressure on Chiappe and a mere 0.50 seconds separated the duo through lap eight. All 17 boats were still running after nine laps, but Al-Hameli continued to fall behind and made his way back to the pontoon to retire.
By lap 14, Chiappe headed Carella by 2.59sec and there was a further gap of nearly 19 seconds to third-placed Torrente. But Chiappe dramatically stopped on lap 17 and handed the outright lead to Carella. Torrente, Selio and Al-Rubayan climbed into second, third and fourth.
After 21 of 34 laps, Carella’s lead was 26.16sec over Torrente and that climbed to 40 seconds after lap 25, but the yellow flag was raised on that lap after a high-speed collision between Erik Stark and Francesco Cantando that sidelined both drivers. The boats were removed from the course, but the race finished in disappointing circumstances under a yellow flag with Torrente withdrawing with two laps remaining and Carella staying out of trouble to seal a memorable win for Team Abu Dhabi.
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 team is managed by the Italian nine-time UIM F1 H20 World Champion Guido Cappellini and recruited the services of former Qatar Team engine builder Brendan Power shortly after the opening race in Doha in March.
2015 Grand Prix of France – final result:
1. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 34 laps
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team L1
3. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team L1
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden L1
5. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team L1
6. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team L1
7. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden L2
8. Bartek Marszalak (POL) Motorglass F1 Team L2
9. Cedric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick Racing L2
10. Christophe Larigot (FRA) Team EMIC L3
11. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team EMIC L3
2015 Grand Prix of France – time trial result:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 47.69sec
2. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 47.83sec
3. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 47.84sec
4. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 48.08sec
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 48.61sec
6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 50.63sec
2015 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship – after round 2:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 35 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 29 pts
3. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 24 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 14 pts
5. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Emirates Team 12 pts
5. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 12 pts
7. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 5 pts
7. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 5 pts
2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – after round 2:
1. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 27 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 25 pts
3. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 18 pts
4. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 16 pts
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 15 pts
5. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 15 pts
7. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 12 pts
8. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 10 pts
9. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 5 pts
10. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 4 pts
11. Bartek Marszalak (POL) Motorglass F1 Team 3 pts
12. Cedric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick Racing 2 pts
12. David Del Pin (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 2 pts
14. Christophe Larigot (FRA) Team EMIC 1 pt
14. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 1 pt
- Ends -
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