Qemzi aims to extend lead in bid for F2 world title - GulfToday

Qemzi aims to extend lead in bid for F2 world title

Team Abu Dhabi

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi leads the UIM F2 World Championship series in 2019, following his win in Lithuania last month.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi is prepared for another mighty tussle in Norway at the weekend as he bids to stay on course for a second world powerboat racing title this season.

Qemzi, aiming to recapture the UIM F2 World Championship crown which he won in 2017, leads the 2019 series following his dramatic opening round victory in Lithuania last month.

Since then the Emirati driver has celebrated success as a member of the four-man Team Abu Dhabi crew who clinched the World Endurance Championships in Poland, and he is determined to extend the winning streak.

Among his team-mates on that occasion, Rashed Al Tayer joins Qemzi in the starting line-up for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Norway, the first of three F2 championship rounds in the space of six weeks.

With races to follow in Italy and Portugal prior to December’s final round in Abu Dhabi, both are determined to make their mark in the ancient Viking town of Tonsberg, Norway’s oldest, at the weekend.

After dominating F2 qualifying in Lithuania, Qemzi was awarded his second win in three years in Kaunas when Norwegian Tobias Munthe-Kaas collected a one lap penalty for a race buoy infringement after finishing ahead of the Emirati.

That setback left the Norwegian down in ninth place in the championship, and he will be eagerly looking for revenge in Tonsberg where Sweden’s Daniel Segenmark starts holding second place in the world championship ahead of Sharjah Team’s Ferdinand Zandbergen in third.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Tayer also wants to put the memory of the Kaunas race behind him after recovering from a crash in qualifying to start the Grand Prix, but going out when his boat was rammed at a turn.

This is the seventh year in a row that Tonsberg has started F2 racing, and during this time it has become a highly popular venue with both competitors and spectators, The town is also famous as a result of being featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series of superhero films, including Captain America, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Avengers: Infinity War.

Race action gets under way on Friday evening with the Match Racing and Speed Runs, with free practice starting at 1.30pm on Saturday followed at 5pm by the three-stage qualifying session for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Norway getting under way at 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, four-time UIM F1H2O World Champion, Alex Carella, has left the Victory Team and will no longer be racing for them in the series, as per the report from Powerboat Racing World.

Carella, who left Team Abu Dhabi after winning his 4th title in 2017, joined the Victory Team with the view of taking on a new challenge.

The challenge was huge, the development of the Victory built and designed F1H2O hulls was an uphill battle, whilst fast, they were notoriously difficult to control, even for such a talented driver as Carella.

In 2017, he only managed one finish, at the first race in Portugal, and hurt himself in both London and Evian while trying to stay competitive in the development hull.

When Erik Stark announced that he would be joining Victory on July 17, it was assumed that the Dubai-based outfit would be fielding a three-boat team with Carella and Ahmed Al Hameli.

The surprise news saw Swedish driver Stark left French outfit Maverick F1 Racing for the second time in as many seasons, joining them for the first two races in 2018 and giving them their first win at the Grand Prix of London before moving to Team Abu Dhabi, then re-joining them this season and racing in Portugal and France.

After the third round of the 2019 UIM F1H2O World Championship, Victory Team is in fifth in the teams’ standings with nine points, with Carella and Hameli in seventh and ninth places respectively.

UIM F2 World Championship standings

1    35    Rashed Al Qemzi        UAE    20

2    54    Daniel Segenmark      SWE    15

3    17    Ferdinand Zandbergen NL    12

4    8    Brent Dillard         USA    9

5    3    Owen Jelf         GBR    7

6    6    Ola Pettersson            SWE    5

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