Team Abu Dhabi’s Carella trails Finland’s Sami Selio by single point in flagship racing series
HARBIN (CHINA): Tuesday, August 8: Team Abu Dhabi continues its hectic summer racing schedule by heading straight from Norway to China to take part in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Harbin, round three of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, at the Hulan Estuary Wetland Park.
While Rashed Al-Qemzi left Tønsberg on Monday with a 12-point lead in the UIM F2 World Championship, Team Abu Dhabi heads to the People’s Republic of China with Alex Carella trailing double World Champion Sami Selio by a single point in the flagship UIM F1 H2O series. Defending World Champion, Philippe Chiappe of France, is third and nine points behind Carella.
The team operating out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) has also entered Thani and Rashed Al-Qemzi in the Harbin race and Thani will be aiming to build upon the sixth place he earned in Évian in June that has moved the experienced Emirati into equal 10th in the points’ standings. Rashed Al-Qemzi will be hoping that his recent F2 success rubs off on the bigger stage and he can improve on the 12th place he earned at the last round in France. Nineteen drivers from 12 countries are expected to line-up for the weekend’s action.
Last year, an accident sidelined Carella in Harbin and opened the door for current series leader Selio to take the chequered flag from Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and eventual champion Chiappe. Two of Team Abu Dhabi’s experienced drivers have an impressive track record in China: Carella claimed a first victory in Linyi in 2010 and followed that success with a hat-trick of wins in Liuzhou from 2012 to 2014. Thani Al-Qemzi, meanwhile, won in Xi’an in 2007 and added a second victory in China in Liuzhou in 2011.
“This is a busy time for everyone involved with Team Abu Dhabi and it’s important that we continue the momentum and carry on where we left off at the last round in France,” said Salem Al-Remeithi, general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). “Alex is well placed to push for the win and the championship lead and both Thani and Rashed know the importance of qualifying well on Saturday and pushing on to take as many points as possible in the race on Sunday.”
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.
The F4-S boats also return to action in Harbin after missing out on the last race in France. Adverse weather conditions at the opening round in Portugal meant that only one race took place on the Algarve coast, but Mohammed Al-Mehairbi will be hoping to be in the mix from the outset after missing out on the main F2 race in Tønsberg on Sunday afternoon. Frenchman Jeremy Brisset is the leader of the F4-S Trophy after race one from Team Sweden’s rookie Sebastien Haugaard and Finland’s Kalle Viippo. Al-Mehairbi lies fifth.
Harbin is the capital of the Heilongjiang Province in the north-east of the country and is the most recent Chinese addition to the racing calendar. Racing on the 2.049km course, located on the Hulan Estuary Wetland Park, gets underway with free practice for both the F1 and F4-S crews, starting at 14.00hrs (09.00hrs UAE time) on Friday afternoon (August 11) and running through until 16.00hrs.
There is further free practice scheduled for the F4-S teams at 09.30hrs on Saturday morning before the F4-S time trials at 10.00hrs and additional F1 free practice, starting at 10.30hrs. The first of the two F4-S races take centre stage from 13.30hrs and the first of three BRM Qualifying sessions gets underway at 15.00hrs.
Further free F4-S practice and time trials precede F1 free practice from 09.45hrs on Sunday morning and the second of the F4-S races starts at 11.10hrs. The Grand Prix of Harbin roars into life at 14.00hrs (09.00hrs UAE time) on Sunday afternoon.
2017 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after round 2:
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc Baba Racing 30pts
2. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 29pts
3. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 20pts
4. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 14pts
5. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 12pts
6. Ahmed Al-Hameli(UAE) Victory Team 9pts
7. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 7pts
7. Bartek Marszalak (POL) Blaze Performance Team 7pts
7. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Sweden 7pts
10. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5pts
10. Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick F1 5pts
2017 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Trophy – positions after round 2
1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 27pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 24pts
3. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 20pts
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 20pts
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc Baba Racing 12pts
5. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Sweden 12pts
7. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 9pts
8. Grant Trask (AUS) F1 Atlantic Team 7pts
9. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 5pts
2017 UIM F4-S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Jeremy Brisset (FRA) F1 Atlantic Team 20pts
2. Sebastien Haugaard (SWE) Team Sweden 15pts
3. Kalle Viippo (FIN) Mad Croc Baba Racing 12pts
4. Mansoor Al-Mansoori (UAE) Emirates Racing Team 9pts
5. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 7pts
6. Corentin Cuesnel (FRA) Maverick F1 5pts
7. Mohamed Al-Yamahi (UAE) Victory Team 4pts
8. Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC F1 China Team 0pt
9. Damon Cohen (USA) Blaze Performance 0pt