Team Abu Dhabi to stir the waters
Team Abu Dhabi’s plans to spoil the three-way fight between Philippe Chiappe, Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente for the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship title are on hold after Ahmed Al Hameli and Thani Al Qamzi qualified in sixth and eighth for Friday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah at Khaled Lagoon.
The Team Abu Dhabi duo have won this race in five of the past eight years, but they face an uphill task to prevent the three championship leaders stealing the limelight on this occasion.
“This is a race that I enjoy,” Al Qamzi said.
“This is a magic place and I really slide in well with great results almost every year.
“Ahmed and I will certainly be giving it our best shot on Friday.”
Frenchman Chiappe claimed pole position for today’s race with a lap of 44.33 seconds and that was sufficient for the CTIC China Team driver to beat Carella, the defending champion in the series, by 0.79 seconds.
Chiappe leads the standings by three points from Carella on a total of 50, after his victory in Abu Dhabi last month saw him leapfrog his title rival, who has scored only seven points in the past two races.
Chiappe needs to win to guarantee he is champion, with a victory also enough for Carella.
Torrente, who is six points adrift of Chiappe, struggled in the six-boat Q3 shoot-out and carded a best lap of 47.15 seconds to slot into fifth on the start pontoon for the race.
Mohammed Al Mehairbi started the first of the F-4S Trophy races from the rear of the field for Team Abu Dhabi and climbed through the nine-boat field to reach the chequered flag in sixth position.
Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al Kuwari won his first F-4S Trophy race, but second position was sufficient for the German driver Mike Szymura to claim the championship with one round to spare.
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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM