x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Al Qamzi looking to close the gap in Doha

The Team Abu Dhabi driver is four points behind the championship leader and rival Jonas Andersson.

Thani al Qamzi will aim to close in on the world title when the "Gulf Swing" of the F1 Powerboat series gets under way with back-to-back races in Qatar tomorrow. The Team Abu Dhabi driver is four points behind the championship leader Jonas Andersson of Sweden with six races scheduled over the next three weeks in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Al Qamzi, with five career victories including one this season in Portimao, Portugal, is in his ninth season and starting his 76th race.

"I'm in a good position to win the world title, I came close to winning it in 2006 and haven't had the luck on my side since then," he said. "All I need is a couple of good results in the two races in Doha before I return to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah." Al Qamzi's teammate Ahmad al Hameli has run into a rough patch as of late, finishing only one of his last four events while posting two podiums this season and a win at the opening round of the championship back in April in Portugal.

Al Hameli has 52 points and has only an outside chance of catching Andersson, who is 40 points ahead, but realistically will be looking for a top-five finish. "I have dropped some points after a good start but I feel I still have a chance to move up the order. There are six races left and 20 points to win from each race, so it can still be anybody's title," added al Hameli. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae