Tayer switches to F2 challenge in Lithuania - GulfToday

Tayer switches to F2 challenge in Lithuania

Rashed Al Tayer

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer will be looking for a flying start to the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship in Sunday’s Lithuanian Grand Prix.

ABU DHABI: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer will block out one world title target this weekend to focus on another as he returns to international action in Lithuania.

Tayer will be looking for a flying start to the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship in Sunday’s Lithuanian Grand Prix where he was challenging for victory 12 months ago before a crash ended his hopes.

The Emirati driver makes no secret that his top priority is the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, and after two rounds he is well placed in second position overall in the Runabout GP1 series, just two points behind Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen.

But the jetski title race will be far from his mind this weekend when he and team-mate Rashed Al Qemzi both pursue victory in the opening round of the F2 World Championship on Lithuania’s Kaunas Reservoir.

They have already enjoyed one notable powerboat racing victory this season as members of the four-man Team Abu Dhabi line-up who clinched one of the world’s most prestigious endurance races, the 24 Hours of Rouen in France.

For Qemzi, the Lithuania Grand Prix provides extra motivation, as he won the race on his F2 debut two years ago on his way to capturing the world title.

Action begins with free practice at 11am on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix getting under way at 3pm.

Elsewhere in Brisbane, Australia, after an impressive start to the 2019 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats season, the first ‘winter’ round at the Tweed Coast Jet Sprint Club’s Cabarita circuit presented even more intrigue, and some more impressive performances by Temora stars Slade Stanley, Paul Kelly and Kyle Elphinstone.

In the end, Slade Stanley continued his impressive return to the sport to claim his second consecutive victory in Unlimited Superboats.

The two-time Group A World Champion was at times three-seconds clear of the field, before a late race resurgence from New Zealand sensation Rob Coley saw the final concluded with Stanley 67 one hundredths clear.

Reigning Unlimited world title-holder Phonsy Mullan was forced to settle for third place, two seconds back from Stanley’s time.

In the 400-Class (International Group A), points leader Paul Kelly countered every challenge to claim his third consecutive win.

In the end, the Brisbane driver was more than two seconds clear of former champion Ben Hathaway who suffered a torrid weekend leading up to the finals, with Jody Ely third, just four tenths down on Hathaway’s time.

Cabarita’s return also presented the biggest field in the short history of the LS-Class.

Despite the nine boats gunning for victory, points leader Kyle Elphinstone managed to weather the storm, holding out rookie-sensation Dwayne Mezzadri for his third win of the year.

David Bray held on for third place after a solid run through the finals.

Always a challenge, the Cabarita rotation claimed a number of high profile victims across the weekend, including 400-Class favourite Justin Roylance, reigning champion Mark Garlick, Hugh Gilchrist, Darrin Kesper and Starr Kopa, all suffering the wrath of the difficult Tweed Coast venue across the two-day event.

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