AL-QAMZI SAYS HOME WIN CAN INSPIRE TEAM ABU DHABI TO MORE F1 GLORY IN SHARJAH

AL-QAMZI SAYS HOME WIN CAN INSPIRE TEAM ABU DHABI TO MORE F1 GLORY IN SHARJAH

Emirati driver and Carella chase final round victory and

world team title in final round

Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 16: Thani Al-Qamzi hopes the momentum from Alex Carella’s victory on home waters last weekend and his own dramatic climb through the field can lift Team Abu Dhabi to glory in Friday’s final round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship in Sharjah.

 Both Al-Qamzi and Carella head into the Grand Prix of Sharjah with the chance to finish runner-up to Frenchman Philippe Chiappe in the F1 drivers’ championship, and together they hope to secure the world teams title for Team Abu Dhabi.

 “The team is very strong now and we want to finish the season with another win,” said Al-Qamzi, “Everyone has been working very hard and we have prepared well for Sharjah to get the boats right.

 “I remember winning there in 2012. It was a fantastic race and I will give everything I have on Friday to try and win again. After my engine problems in Abu Dhabi last week I was upset and frustrated, but I was very happy to fight back and finish third.”

 After his hopes of a first victory in his home event had been ruined by engine failures in practice and qualifying, Al-Qamzi climbed through the field brilliantly to finish on the podium.

 He says it was his most dramatic recovery since he came from the back of the field to win a Formula 2 race in Abu Dhabi in 2002.

 Added to Carella’s stunning win, it saw the Team Abu Dhabi pair climb above CTIC China’s Chiappe and Ziwei Xiong to take a two-point lead in the race for the F1 world teams title.

 “It will mean a lot to all the team if we can win the championship,” said Al Qamzi, who is determined to deliver a second world title to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

 The club is the driving force behind Team Abu Dhabi, which is sponsored by Etihad Airways, the official carrier, Marina Mall and Nirvana Travel & Tourism, and is currently enjoying its most successful season to date. Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson secured the team’s first ever UIM Class 1 world championship title last month.

 Also chasing victory on Sharjah’s Khaled Lagoon this weekend will be Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qemzi who have produced some outstanding performances in the UIM F-4S Trophy races.

 Following on from his second runners-up spot this season in Abu Dhabi, Al-Mehairbi has set his sights on two podium finishes to secure second place in the championship behind Germany’s Mike Szymura, who needs just four points from the 40 on offer to retain his F-4S world title.

 Al-Qemzi, who qualified second behind Al-Mehairbi in race two in Abu Dhabi, wants to bounce back from the crash that followed with a big performance in Sharjah.

 Action on Khaled Lagoon tomorrow morning starts with time trials for the F-4S boats prior to the F1 practice session beginning at 10.15hrs. The first of two F-4S races starts at 14.30hrs and is followed by the crucial F1 qualifying from 15.30hrs.

 F-4S practice and time trials will be repeated from 09.10hrs on Friday morning and the leading teams will be permitted a third and final practice session on the Khaled Lagoon course from 10.15hrs. The second of the F-4S races takes centre stage at 14.30hrs and the Grand Prix of Sharjah roars to life at 15.30hrs.

 Captions

 1.      Team Abu Dhabi's Thani Al-Qamzi – aiming for another race victory in Sharjah and the world teams title 

2.      Alex Carella – looking for back-to-back Grand Prix victories