Al-Mehairbi, Al-Qemzi aim to finish season on a high as Szymura

chases second UIM F-4S Trophy triumph

 Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 13:  Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella and Thani Al-Qamzi are aiming to round off the UIM F1 H2O World Championship with another victory in Sharjah at the weekend as they look to clinch a world title triumph.

 Carella’s brilliant win on home waters last Friday and Al-Qamzi’s stunning climb through the field to claim third place in the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi has given the pair a slender two-point lead over the CTIC China Team in the race for the F1 world teams championship crown.

 The Chinese team had arrived in the UAE capital last week holding a 15pt lead, and while Philippe Chiappe’s second place behind Carella saw him retain his world drivers’ title, the retirement of his team-mate Ziwei Xiong saw Team Abu Dhabi climb to the top of the teams standings.

 Carella goes into Friday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah looking to clinch runners-up spot in the F1 drivers’ championship while Al Qamzi has the chance to finish the season just behind him in third place.

 While both would love to end the season with a race win, they are equally focused on delivering a second world title of the season to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

 Carella heads for Sharjah’s Khaled Lagoon tied on 39 points with the Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente in joint second place in the drivers’ standings.

 The Italian knows he has nothing to lose by pushing for back-to-back victories in the space of eight days and is confident that he can claim a second victory in Sharjah to add to his success in 2013 and the runner-up spot he secured last year.

Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan is a point behind Torrente and Carella and quite capable of overhauling them with a good performance in Sharjah, while Jonas Andersson, Sami Selio and Erik Stark could also finish second if results go their way on Friday.

 “In recent years the championship has been decided in Sharjah, but this time it’s a race where everyone will be pushing for the win,” said Carella. “We will all have the same goal, to win the race and try and finish second in the championship. I also need to finish the race to make sure that we have the best possible chance of winning the teams championship.”

 Al-Qamzi also has a good record in Sharjah and won the race in 2012 for Team Abu Dhabi. He can mathematically still finish second in the drivers’ championship, and the Emirati will be hoping to score as many points as possible to ensure more celebrations at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

 Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson clinched Team Abu Dhabi’s first UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship title last month, and another team crown added to top three finishes by Carella and Al-Qamzi would represent a strong first season under the management of ten-time former F1 world champion Guido Cappellini.

 Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qamzi are also playing their part in making this the best season to date for Team Abu Dhabi, which is run under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the UAE President and chairman of the board of directors of ADIMSC, and sponsored by Etihad Airways, the official carrier, Marina Mall and Nirvana Travel & Tourism.

 After showing impressive speed last weekend Al-Mehairbi and Al-Qemzi are keen to maintain that form for the final two UIM F-4S Trophy races in Sharjah. They were particularly impressive in the time trials in Abu Dhabi where Al-Mehairbi achieved a second runner-up spot this season during race two. A couple of podium finishes this weekend could lift him from his current third place to second in the championship.

 Finland’s Anton Nyholm, who won both of the Abu Dhabi races, starts as the clear favourite in Sharjah while Germany’s Mike Szymura requires just four points from a potential 40 on offer to retain his UIM F-4S title for a second year.

 2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – after round 5:

1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team                                   70 pts

2. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team                                             39 pts

2. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi                                             39 pts

4. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team                       38 pts

5. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                                      32 pts

6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden                                         29 pts

7. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                            28 pts

8. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica                                                     27 pts

9. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                            19 pts

10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                                           18 pts

2015 UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship – after round 5:

1. Team Abu Dhabi                                                                             73 pts

2. CTIC China Team                                                                           71 pts

3. F1 GC Atlantic Team                                                                     47 pts

3. Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                                                        47 pts

5. Team Sweden                                                                                 36 pts

6. Team EMIC                                                                                    35 pts

7. Emirates Team                                                                                23 pts

8. Victory Team                                                                                  19 pts


2015 UIM F-4S Trophy – current standings:

1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team                                 94 pts

2. Joakhim Halvorsen (NOR) Team EMIC                                        58 pts

3. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                        51 pts

4. Anton Nyholm (FIN) Team Sweden                                              40 pts

5. Rashed Al-Qemzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                                   35 pts

6. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team       31 pts

7. Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team                                       30 pts

8. Christian Cesati (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                    27 pts

9. Mansoor Al-Mansoori (ARE) Emirates Team                                24 pts

9. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden                                               24 pts

11. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                   14 pts

12. Rashed Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                             6 pts


1.      Thani Al-Qamzi – wants to secure another world title for Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

2.      Team Abu Dhabi will be hoping to repeat last weekend's success with a repeat triumph in Sharjah on Friday.