Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi in action during the Portugal Grand Prix.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi secured his third UIM F2 World Championship title on Sunday with an emphatic victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal.
Starting from pole position, the brilliant Emirati driver completely dominated the final round of the series at Vila Velha de Rodao, winning by the commanding margin of 8.686 seconds from the host country’s defending world champion, Duarte Benavente.
It was Rashed’s fourth successive Grand Prix win in Portugal and his second taste of world title glory this season following July’s endurance championship success in Poland.
Italian powerboat racing legend Guido Cappellini has now landed 13 world titles since taking charge as Team Abu Dhabi manager in February 2015.
Mansoor Al Mansoori, another member of the endurance title-winning crew three months ago, was unfortunate to go out of the race after 18 laps, but has shown enough in his debut season to suggest he can become a real force with Team Abu Dhabi.
Rashed had made a decisive move by winning Portugal’s penultimate round at Ribadouro a week earlier to within two points of Lithuania’s championship leader, Edgaras Riabko.
That meant victory today would guarantee another F2 crown for the 2017 and 2019 champion, and Al Qemzi reinforced his prospects with a second successive pole position yesterday while Riabko qualified down in 11th place, effectively ending his challenge.
From the start on the 1,577m Tagus river course on Sunday, Rashed looked in a class of his own, powering his way into an immediate lead and at one stage building a huge advantage of 13 seconds over Benavente before relaxing his pace towards the end.
The Portuguese driver finished runner up in the championship, just ahead of Riabko who was placed eighth on the day.
The Victory Team pairing of Mansoor Al Mansoori and Ahmed Al Fahim are looking towards further improvement heading into the Grand Prix of Italy - Round 3 of the UIM F2 Powerboat Championship, to be held this weekend. The Grand Prix of Italy will be held in the port city of Brindisi on the Adriatic Sea in southern Italy’s Apulia region from
Abu Dhabi: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi clinched the UIM F2 World Championship title for the second time in three years with a commanding victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal.
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