Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi steers his boat during the F2 Italian Grand Prix.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi provided more evidence on Saturday that he has the UIM F2 World Championship under control as he set the early pace in the Grand Prix of Italy.
Qemzi, who has carried a 14-point lead over Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen into the third round of the series in Brindisi, was in dominant form again during the Group A free practice session, setting a fastest lap of 34.5 secs.
With Sweden’s Daniel Segenmark second fastest in 35.44 ahead of Germany’s Grand Prix of Norway winner, Stefan Hagin in 36.19, Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer recorded the fifth fastest time of 36.60.
Qemzi, the 2017 F2 world champion and opening round winner in Lithuania, looked in perfect shape to pursue a third consecutive pole position later in the day for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Italy commencing at 6.30pm local time.
The two Emirati drivers had spent two days earlier in the week testing on Lake Maggiore in San Nazzaro, Italy under the guidance of Team Abu Dhabi manager, Guido Cappellini.
Meanwhile, Findland’s Tuukka Lehtonen took a lights to flag Round 2 – UIM F4 win in Kotka, Finland on Saturday. His fellow countryman, Alec Weckström was second with Britain’s Ben Jelf taking the Bronze.
Lehtonen now leads the 2019 UIM F4 World Championship with 37 points. Alec Weckström was later disqualified for failing technical inspection, Jelf was promoted to second and Alexander Lindholm third.
Rounds 3 and 4 will be raced for in Viverone, Italy over the weekend of Sept.6-8.
Meanwhile, the Victory Team pairing of Mansoor Al Mansoori and Ahmed Al Fahim are looking towards further improvement.
Both Victory Team drivers aware of the task that lies ahead for the men in blue.
“This next race will continue to be transition period for both of us as we continue building up on our capabilities as a unit. We are testing a brand-new boat and things have not exactly gone our way as we seek the best set-up and weight transfer on the boats,” Fahim related as the team prepared to leave for Italy, on Thursday.
“Considering that this is my first year in F2 racing, I feel I still have a lot of challenges before me, especially with the new boat. The one hope is to continue the way we have done so far, and the evolution and results will automatically start showing,” he added.
“We are aware that Victory Team is among the best, and to keep this position we have the responsibility of always pushing the limits of racing. This week in Brindisi is going to be no different as we go all out to see how much we can get from the new boat. Hopefully we can find ourselves among genuine contenders,” Fahim stressed.
During Round 2 in Tonsberg, Norway, Victory Team’s Al Mansoori ended in 13th place in a race that was won by Germany’s Stefan Hagin ahead of Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Qamzi and Portugal’s Duarte Benavente.
“The team has been working hard and we have made the progress when compared to our performance in Round One in Lithuania. We need to just sit together and see how we can move ahead so that we are among the top competitors,” Al Mansoori related.
Rashed Al Tayer capped a superb double triumph for Team Abu Dhabi in the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship by recording his first Grand Prix victory in Portugal. The Emirati fought off a fierce challenge from reigning Runabout GP1 world champion
Torrente and Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 were fastest in the first official practice session on Lake Maggiore.
Shaun Torrente says patience will be a key factor as Team Abu Dhabi aim to secure the first of four world powerboat racing titles this season in Poland this weekend.
The showpiece event, which is currently scheduled to be played Down Under from October 18 till November 15, is set to be postponed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
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