F2 Al-Qemzi and Al-Tayer qualify sixth and 10th for Team Abu Dhabi in Norway


Tønsberg Båtrace (EDH Grand Prix of Norway)– Norway, August 3-5


· Young Italian Alberto Comparato claims pole position in Norway; Stefan Hagin in second

TØNSBERG (NORWAY): Saturday, August 4: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi and Rashed Al-Tayer will line-up in sixth and 10th positions for Sunday’s EDH Grand Prix of Norway (Tønsberg Båtrace) after a nail-biting Norlux Qualifying session at Tønsberg late on Saturday afternoon.

Al-Qemzi is bidding to defend his UIM F2 World Championship title and the Emirati recorded a best Q3 lap time of 41.00sec to confirm sixth place in a tense qualifying session that was won by the 20-year-old Italian Alberto Comparato with a best lap of 40.00sec. Al-Tayer carded a time of 41.25sec to qualify in 10th position, while Germany’s Stefan Hagin (40.35sec) and Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko (40.46sec) rounded off the podium places.
Defending UIM F1 H2O World Champion Alex Carella failed to reach Q2 on his first appearance in F2 with the Victory Team.

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 auspices of the ADIMSC and board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi and team manager Guido Cappellini.

Norlux Qualifying

Qualifying was split into three sessions with nine boats in each, although Q1 was also split into three 20-minute heats because of the size of the field and the fact that a maximum of 18 boats will start Sunday’s race on the revised course. Al-Qemzi lined up alongside eight rivals in heat one, with the five fastest boats from each heat moving into Q2.

Changeable weather conditions prevailed at the start of the session, where Oskar Samuelsson suffered technical problems and Hagin carded the target time of 41.63sec. Al-Qemzi all but assured his passage into Q2 with a run of 41.75sec and the duo were eventually joined in Q2 by Tobias Munthe-Kaas, Frode Sundsdal and Ferdinand Zandbergen with Samuelsson, Mansoor Al-Mansoori, Mette Bjerknaes and Owen Jelf being eliminated. Al-Qemzi topped the times with a lap of 41.19sec in a session that ended in heavy rain and a strengthening wind.

Al-Tayer was drawn in heat two that started in improving conditions after a slight delay. Konstantin Ustinov set the early target with a 42.53sec run but that was surpassed by Daniel Segenmark’s lap of 42.34sec. Al-Tayer moved into fourth place with a 4319sec tour and Ustinov regained the lead with a 41.97 in calm conditions.

Alex Carella, Gavin Bricker, Rupert Temper and Kalle Viippo were eliminated and Ustinov, Segenmark, Edgaras Riabko, Al-Tayer and Spaniard Héctor Sanz made it through to Q2. Segenmark won the heat with a 41.84sec lap.

Christian Carlsen and Bimba Sjöholm made it through the third of the Q1 heats with a joint winning time of 42.19sec. The Norwegian and the Swede were joined in Q2 by Alberto Comparato, Johan Österberg and Ola Pettersson. Rookie Lars Erik Andresen, Nick Bisterfeld and Sebastien Haugaard were eliminated as the session finished in darkening conditions and the onset of a storm. Österberg’s late lap of 42.44sec also pushed Brent Dillard out of the running and into the Repecharge race on Sunday.

After a seven-minute break, Q2 ran for 15 minutes and the fastest 10 were then given a single run in a Q3 shoot-out to determine pole position. Ustinov hit the front with a 42.97sec run and that was the target through the first five minutes, as Al-Tayer and Al-Qemzi held fifth and 15th places. Hagin moved to the front in 42.46sec but Al-Qemzi recorded a flying lap of 41.63sec to win the session. Sjöholm, Segenmark, Pettersson, Sanz and Österberg missed out on Q2 and Al-Tayer scraped through in seventh.

Comparato was the first of the 10 Q3 qualifiers on to the water for the two-lap shoot-out and the Italian posted a stunning target of 40.00sec. Race promoter Sundsdal clocked a 41.03sec and Zandbergen ran a 41.22sec before Al-Tayer opened with a run of 41.56sec and improved with a 41.25sec.

Ustinov was next on to the water and the Russian clocked a best run of 40.59sec to move into second position. Carlsen moved into a provisional fourth with a 41.16sec lap, but Hagin spun on his opening lap and then carded a time of 40.50sec to claim second place behind Comparato and then improved with a 40.35sec attempt.

Riabko edged into third with a 40.46 and a best time of 40.72sec for last year’s pole winner Munthe-Kaas left the door open for Al-Qemzi to try and claim pole position for Team Abu Dhabi. The defending champion opened with a run of 41.91sec and improved with a 41.00sec tour to qualify in sixth place and that confirmed pole position for a delighted Comparato.


Both Team Abu Dhabi drivers featured strongly in the first of the two practice sessions on Saturday afternoon that preceded qualifying.

Fourteen boats took to the water and Al-Qemzi topped the times for much of the session with a potent lap of 41.44sec during his 31 laps on the water in session one. He was displaced at the top of the rankings by Dillard’s last run of 41.40sec in the closing seconds. Ustinov and Pettersson were classified in third and fourth and Al-Tayer was sixth with a best lap of 43.12sec.

The remaining 13 boats took part in the second practice session and Germany’s Hagin topped the times with a lap of 41.04sec. Segenmark was 0.21 seconds behind in second place and fellow Swede Sjöholm was third. Match Race and Speed run winner Carella set a quickest lap of 42.44sec for the Victory Team and was fifth.

Teams will be permitted warm-up on the course from 12.20hrs on Sunday and there will be a Repecharge race for boats that have not already qualified for the F2 Grand Prix from 13.30hrs. The fastest three will then join the top 15 Q3 qualifiers for the main race. The EDH Grand Prix of Norway fires into life at 16.30hrs (18.30hrs UAE time).

2018 EDH Grand Prix of Norway – qualifying times:

1. Alberto Comparato (ITA) 40.00sec
2. Stefan Hagin (DEU) 40.35sec
3. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) 40.46sec
4. Konstantin Ustinov (RUS) 40.59sec
5. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) 40.72sec
6. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) 41.00sec
7. Frode Sundsdal (NOR) 41.03sec
8. Christian Carlsen (NOR) 41.16sec
9. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) 41.22sec
10. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE) 41.25sec
11. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) 43.06sec
12. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) 43.21sec
13. Ola Pettersson (SWE) 43.34sec
14. Héctor Sanz (ESP) 43.72sec
15. Johan Österberg (SWE) 44.43sec
16. Brent Dillard (USA) 42.53sec
17. Owen Jelf (GBR) 42.65sec
18. Sebastian Haugaard (DNK) 42.91sec
19. Mansoor Al-Mansoori (UAE) 43.12sec
20. Mette Bjerknaes (NOR) 43.19sec
21. Alex Carella (ITA) 43.59sec
22. Nick Bisterfeld (DEU) 43.72sec
23. Rupert Temper (AUT) 44.16sec
24. Kalle Viippo (FIN) 44.47sec
24. Gavin Bricker (AUS) 44.47sec
26. Lars Erik Andresen (NOR) 46.74sec
27. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) 1min 31.87sec

- 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: 04/08/2018

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