x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Emirati duo hoping for fruitful finish at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Powerboats championship still up in the air after incident-packed Qatar event

Hamed Al Hamli and Team Abu Dhabi hope to make a strong finish to the season at their home grand prix. Vittorio Ubertone / Idea Marketing
Hamed Al Hamli and Team Abu Dhabi hope to make a strong finish to the season at their home grand prix. Vittorio Ubertone / Idea Marketing

Team Abu Dhabi will go back to the drawing board before this weekend’s home Grand Prix after suffering disappointment in Qatar.

Mechanical problems cost Thani Al Qamzi and Ahmed Al Hameli a finish in Doha on Saturday in the Grand Prix of Qatar.

The pair dropped to sixth and 11th in the points standings in the UIM H2O World Championship, with two races left. Only Al Qamzi has a mathematical chance of winning the title, but attention now turns to ending the season on a high in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

“It was one of those weekends where the luck ran out,” said Al Qamzi, who ran into electrical problems.

“They will be sorted in good time for the weekend and it is now so important that he show our home fans what we are capable of. It will not be easy. The top four drivers have been very fast this year, but I am confident in our speed.”

The testing course off Abu Dhabi’s breakwater may host to a four-way battle for the world championship, with the title race blown open in Qatar when joint series leader Sami Selio crashed on the first turn and defending champion Alex Carella retired with an engine problem near the finish.

That paved the way for Carella’s Qatar teammate, Shaun Torrente, to take the win, though he had to wait for confirmation until the outcome of a protest was decided. To further complicate matters, Phillipe Chiappe, who had provisionally finished third, was later disqualified for missing a turn buoy. Torrente arrives in Abu Dhabi with a seven-point lead over Carella. Selio is 11 points back and Chiappe trails by a further five points.

In the F-4S category, Rashid Al Romaithi took third in Qatar behind Team Russia and Team Saudi Arabia in the UIM Qatar Nations Cup. He willrepresent the team again in the F-4S races this weekend.

The grand prix starts two busy weeks of motorsport. The last round of the UIM Aquabike World Championship runs in Abu Dhabi from Saturday to Monday, and next week is the final round of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.

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