F1 GP of London winner Erik Stark joins Team Abu Dhabi alongside Al-Qemzi and Torrente
2018 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of France, Évian-les-Bains – June 29-July 1
SWEDEN’S ERIK STARK SIGNS FOR TEAM ABU DHABI TO JOIN THANI AL-QEMZI
AND SHAUN TORRENTE AT THIS WEEKEND’S GRAND PRIX OF FRANCE
· Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi to concentrate on F2 racing programme
ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS (FRANCE): Monday, June 25: Grand Prix of London winner Erik Stark has signed for Team Abu Dhabi and will join Thani Al-Qemzi and Shaun Torrente in a powerful three-driver line-up in this weekend’s Grand Prix of France at Évian-les-Baines in south-eastern France.
The third round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship on a six-pin, 2.08km course on Lac Leman in France’s Rhône-Alpes region comes just two weeks after Stark claimed a sensational victory for the Maverick Racing Team at London’s Royal Victoria Dock to move into title contention behind three-time World Champion Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team and his new Team Abu Dhabi team-mate Thani Al-Qemzi.
Torrente, the winner of the opening round of the series in Portugal, suffered a disappointing outing in London and trails Stark by a single point in fourth place in what is developing into a scintillating contest in the Drivers’ Championship at this early stage of the season.
Stark’s shock signing for Team Abu Dhabi days after the London race had finished means that Rashed Al-Qemzi, the defending UIM F2 World Champion, will concentrate on the defence of his F2 crown and his UIM World Endurance Championship responsibilities.
Torrente, third in France last year, said: “London was a very disappointing weekend for me but, at least, Thani salvaged some points for the team. How it finished wasn’t actually terrible for me. I am only seven points off the lead and Thani is only three off the lead. The way I look at it is just to move on. The boat went back to DAC to be repaired.”
“It’s awesome to have Erik with us. He’s a great driver and we can keep learning from each other and keep pushing each other. I am looking forward to it. I need to learn from the mistakes in London and go to France and get back on track. We have everything we need to be successful and now I need to go and do it. I have a good track record in France and have run really well there. I have been close to wins. Hopefully I can settle it up this time.”
Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council 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 and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC. The racing team runs under the umbrella of the ADIMSC, board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi and team manager Guido Cappellini.
Cappellini said: “It is Abu Dhabi’s strategy to have the strongest line-up we can and this decision allows for Rashed (Al-Qemzi) to focus his attentions on the defence of his F2 world title.”
The weekend’s timetable gets underway with scrutineering and administration on Friday, June 29th but there is no provision for the F4 Trophy boats on Lac Leman.
Free practice fires into life at 10.15hrs on Saturday morning (June 30) and precedes the three sessions of BRM Qualifying from 16.20hrs. A second practice session will be permitted at the same time on Sunday morning (July 1) and the Grand Prix of France takes centre stage from 15.00hrs.
2018 Grand Prix of France – provisional entries:
Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi
Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi
Erik Stark (SWE) Team Abu Dhabi
Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team
Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team
Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team
Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team
Marit Strømøy (NOR) Emirates Racing Team
Bartek Marszalak (POL) Emirates Racing Team
Grant Trask (AUS) F1 Atlantic Team
Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team
Erik Edin (SWE) Team Sweden
Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden
Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team
Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team
Francesco Cantando (ITA) Blaze F1 Team
Simone Schuft (DEU) Blaze F1 Team
Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick F1 Team
Mette Bjerknaes (NOR) Maverick F1 Team
2018 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – standings after round 2:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 27pts
2. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 24pts
3. Erik Stark (SWE) Maverick F1 Team/Team Abu Dhabi 21pts
4. Shaun Torrente (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 20pts
5. Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 19pts
6. Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team 9pts
7. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 8pts
8. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 7pts
9. Grant Trask (AUS) F1 Atlantic Team 5pts
9. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 5pts
11. Marit Strømøy (NOR) Emirates Racing Team 4pts
12. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Blaze F1 Team 3pts
13. Erik Edin (SWE) Team Sweden 2pts
13. Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick F1 Team 2pts
2018 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship – standings after round 2:
1. Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team 24pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 22pts
3. Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi 20pts
3. Erik Stark (SWE) Maverick F1 Team 20pts
5. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 15pts
6. Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 14pts
7. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 9pts
8. Erik Edin (SWE) Team Sweden 7pts
9. Bartek Marszalak (POL) Emirates Racing Team 5pts
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.