Fourth place for higher in Portugal will give young Emirati a maiden UIM F2 world title
RIBADOURO (PORTUGAL): Tuesday, October 3: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi stands on the verge of creating history for the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). The talented young Emirati racer heads to Ribadouro in Portugal for the final round of the UIM F2 World Championship this weekend safe in the knowledge that a top four finish on the Duoro River would secure the championship title.
Victory in Lithuania and third position in Norway have given last year’s UIM F4-S Trophy winner 32 valuable championship points and with 20 available for the winner in Portugal, 15 for second, 12 for third and nine for fourth place, the Emirati’s advantage of 12 points over the vastly experienced Swede Pierre Lundin (20 points) puts Team Abu Dhabi firmly in the driving seat in Portugal.
Mathematically, seven drivers can still win the 2017 UIM F2 World Championship: victory for Frenchman Nelson Morin (16 points) and results going his way would give the CTIC China Team driver the honours, while both Sweden’s Johan Österberg and Russia’s Konstantin Ustinov have 15 points apiece and an outright win would give them 35 and an outside chance of taking the spoils. Both Ola Pettersson of Sweden and Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko have 13 points and only a win and a mathematical miracle would see them lifting the trophy on Sunday evening in Ribadouro.
Mohammed Al-Mehairbi drives the second of the Team Abu Dhabi boats and will offer valuable support to Al-Qemzi.
“This is the big moment for Rashed and the entire team in F2,” said Salem Al-Remeithi, general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). “We know what we have to do and Rashed’s pace in Liuzhou at the F1 H2O race last weekend was very impressive. He very nearly finished in the points and set some particularly good lap times in qualifying. That experience against the very best in the world will stand him in good stead for what promises to be a very exciting 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.
After adverse weather conditions blighted three of the four rounds of the series so far and forced the abandonment of the two races in Antwerp and Campione d’Italia, race officials at Clube Náutico de Ribadouro will be crossing their fingers that action gets underway on schedule with a free practice session from 11.15hrs on Saturday morning (14.15hrs UAE time). This precedes the three-stage qualifying session from 15.30hrs and a vital elimination race at 18.00hrs for those drivers who did not make it through to the Grand Prix automatically.
Further warm-up practice is permitted from 10.00hrs on Sunday morning and this precedes the crucial Grand Prix of Portugal, starting at 15.45hrs (18.45hrs UAE time) on Sunday afternoon.
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