CARELLA SAYS PARTNERSHIP WITH AL-QAMZI CAN DRIVE TEAM ABU DHABI TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY

CARELLA SAYS PARTNERSHIP WITH AL-QAMZI CAN DRIVE TEAM ABU DHABI TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY

Emirati driver and Italian team-mate aim for Sharjah race win and world team title triumph

 Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 17: Alex Carella believes his growing partnership with Thani Al-Qamzi can lead Team Abu Dhabi to victory in tomorrow’s (Friday) Grand Prix of Sharjah and pave the way for more glory in next year’s UIM F1 H2O World Championship.

 Carella and Al-Qamzi go into the final round of the F1 season leading the world teams title race and chasing a victory on the spectacular Khaled Lagoon course, with runners-up spot in the drivers’ championship at stake.

 The Italian three-times world champion was physically and mentally exhausted by last weekend’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi success after his boat misfired at the start, and has shrugged off a flu bug as he chases a second win in the space of eight days.

 “That was a very stressful race and I’ve been feeling sick this week, but I’m better today and will be okay,” he said. “It was our goal for both of us to finish on the podium last weekend, and with Thani coming through to third we both want to be on the podium again.”

 “We really want to win the teams championship, and if one of us finishes second in the drivers’ championship as well that will be a very satisfying first season together.

 Carella, denied a second round victory in France by a post-race technical disqualification, added: “Apart from that mistake we’re happy with the way things have gone, and I think Thani and I can do great things next season.”

 With Frenchman Philippe Chiappe already installed as champion for the second year in a row, Carella is tied on 39 points with the Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente in joint second place, with Al-Qamzi, Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan and Jonas Andersson among a cluster of drivers who could snatch the runners up spot.

 This season is already certain to go down as the most successful to date for Team Abu Dhabi, who are sponsored by Etihad Airways, the official carrier, Marina Mall and Nirvana Travel & Tourism.

 Based at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, the team’s driving force is H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President and the club’s chairman.

 Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson landed the team’s first ever UIM Class 1 world championship title last month, and three weeks later team-mates Rashed Al-Tayer and Faleh Al- Mansoori finished runners up in their first season in the UIM XCAT World Series.

 In addition to Al-Qamzi and Carella, Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qemzi are also aiming to give Team Abu Dhabi more reasons to celebrate this weekend as both chase their first race victory in the UIM F-4S Trophy.

 Grand Prix of Sharjah Friday schedule:

 0910-0930:      F-4S free practice

0940-1000:      F-4S time trials

1015-11-15:     F1 free practice

1430-1450:      F-4S Race 2

1530:               F1 parade lap

1545-1645:      F1 Grand Prix of Sharjah

 Captions

 1.      Team Abu Dhabi's Alex Carella – chasing back-to-back race wins.

2.      Thani Al-Qamzi with Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qemzi.