Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi will take 12-point lead into Portugal showdown
Rain and wind causes race timetable chaos for race officials on Lake Lugano
CAMPIONE D’ITALIA (ITALY): Sunday, September 10: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi will take a 12-point lead in the UIM F2 World Championship to the final round in Portugal at the start of October after adverse weather conditions forced race officials to cancel Sunday’s Grand Prix of Switzerland on Lake Lugano.
Heavy rain and winds threw the weekend’s racing timetable into chaos and the second and third qualifying sessions - that had been postponed on Saturday afternoon – were eventually cancelled on Sunday morning. Officer of the Day Pelle Larsson was given no alternative other than to cancel the Grand Prix at the last minute with winds in excess of 20 knots blowing across the racecourse.
The cancellation of the second of the four races so far this season – Antwerp was also cancelled because of weather conditions – means that Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi continues to lead the series by 12 points with one race remaining on October 8th in Portugal.
“Racing had to be cancelled on safety grounds but this is very disappointing for everyone concerned after all the planning and testing that the various teams had carried out before the race,” said Salem Al-Remeithi general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). “It now means that the last race in Portugal is absolutely vital and Rashed has the chance to make history for Team Abu Dhabi and clinch a first ever F2 world title.”
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.
Oskar Samuelsson was the fastest driver in the first of the two qualifying groups in Q1 with a lap of 49.28sec. Stefan Hagin topped the times in the second group of drivers out on the water in qualifying with a lap of 49.94sec and that gave him second in Q1 followed by Alberto Comparato, Edgaras Riabko, Pierre Lundin and Al-Qemzi. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi struggled at the rear of the field in 12th in his group with a best lap of 56.19sec and missed out on Q2 in 24th place.
Fifteen boats went through to Q2, but the last two qualifying sessions were postponed until Sunday and race officials had hoped they would follow on from a short warm-up session. Unfortunately, heavy rain gave way to further wind and the morning’s amended timetable was cancelled. The decision was taken to cancel Q2 and Q3 and times taken from Q1 were to be used for the race – if it could take place in the afternoon.
Saturday’s free practice session was delayed because of adverse weather conditions on Lake Lugano. Alberto Comparato clocked the quickest lap of 50.65sec in Group A from Konstantin Ustinov and Pierre Lundin. Al-Qemzi was fifth with a best tour of 51.62sec. Hagin was the quickest in Group B with a time of 49.82sec from Owen Jelf and Sanz Lopez.
UIM F2 World Championship – positions after round 4:
1. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32pts
2. Pierre Lundin (SWE) Lundin F1 Racing 20pts
3. Nelson Morin (FRA) F1 China CTIC Team 16pts
4. Johan Österberg (SWE) Team AJO 15pts
4. Konstantin Ustinov (RUS) New Star 15pts
6. Ola Pettersson (SWE) Skåne Racing Team F2 13pts
6. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) F2 Lithuania 13pts
8. Owen Jelf (GBR) Owen Jelf Racing 7pts
9. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) Segenmark Racing 6pts
9. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) OS Racing 6pts, etc