Al-Qemzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi in action on Antwerp’s River Scheldt
ANTWERP (BELGIUM): Monday, July 17: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi will be aiming to extend his lead in the UIM F2 World Championship when the competitive tunnel boat series visits the River Scheldt at Antwerp in Belgium for this weekend’s second round of the championship.
The driver out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) enjoyed a stunning start to his challenge for honours in Lithuania last month. Running a DAC boat, Al-Qemzi qualified for the yellow flag-interrupted race in pole position and led from start-to-finish to see off the challenge from both Sweden’s Johan Österberg and Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko to seal a first ever F2 win and maximum points in the championship.
Not content with starting their F2 campaign in winning style on Kaunas Reservoir, a resurgent Team Abu Dhabi then went on to claim pole position and an outright victory in the second round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship as well with Alex Carella. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi will run a second DAC alongside Al-Qemzi in Belgium and the Emirati will be hoping for a points-scoring finish after withdrawing prematurely from the race in Lithuania following a collision.
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.
“It’s been a superb month for everyone at Team Abu Dhabi,” said Salem Al-Remeithi. “Rashed proved in Lithuania that he has the pace and the team has the performance to seriously challenge for this year’s F2 title. The win was the perfect start for us and lays the foundations on which we can build in Belgium. Alex Carella’s win in France was icing on the cake at this relatively early point in the season. We need to keep this momentum going now with a follow-up success this weekend.”
The host city of Antwerp is located in the Flemish sector of Belgium in the state of Flanders. It is the country’s second largest city behind Brussels and is linked to the North Sea by the River Scheldt and the Westerschelde Estuary. It is the second largest port in Europe and one of the most important in the world.
The Belgian round of the UIM F2 World Championship is being organised by Blue Bees, under the management of Guy Van Den Broeck and running under the auspices of the Belgian Motorboat Federation. Race headquarters will be located on the Zuiderterras close to the Het Steen medieval fortress on the banks of the River Scheldt.
Administration and technical checks will take place on Friday (July 21) and the first 90-minute practice session gets underway on Saturday morning from 10.25hrs. The three-stage qualifying sessions take centre stage on the River Scheldt from 14.30hrs and precede an elimination race later in the afternoon.
Teams will be permitted a further 90-minutes of free practice on the course from 10.25hrs on Sunday morning and the Belgian Grand Prix fires into life at 14.30hrs (16.30hrs UAE time).
UIM F2 World Championship – positions after round 1:
1. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 20pts
2. Johan Österberg (SWE) Team AJO 15pts
3. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) F2 Lithuania 12pts
4. Nelson Morin (FRA) F1 China CTIC Team 9pts
5. Owen Jelf (GBR) Owen Jelf Racing 7pts
6. Erik Edin (SWE) Team Edin 5pts
7. Ola Pettersson (SWE) Skåne Racing Team F2 4pts
8. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) Mad Croc Baba Racing 3pts
9. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) OS Racing 2pts
10. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) SF2R 1pt