x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Abu Dhabi power boat drivers need podium finish at Qatar Grand Prix

Emiratis Thani Al Qamzi and Ahmed Al Hameli are outside of the season's title contention with three races left.

With only three races left, Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi sits in fifth place ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix. Courtesy of Paul Lakatos
With only three races left, Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi sits in fifth place ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix. Courtesy of Paul Lakatos

Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi and Ahmed Al Hameli are trying to close the gap on the leading four drivers in the UIM F1 H20 World Championship title race, when they tackle this weekend’s Grand Prix of Qatar.

A disappointing result in Liuzhou last month means that Al Qamzi now stands fifth and a podium finish is crucial for the Emirati to get his title challenge back on track at Doha Bay, with only three rounds of the six-round season remaining.

Alex Carella, the Italian defending champion of the Qatar Team, is tied for the series lead on 44 points with Sami Selio of Finland.

Al Qamzi holds fifth in the points standings and is 22 points adrift, while teammate Al Hameli is in ninth place.

“This is an important race for us and one where we need to close the gap at the top and achieve podium finishes,” Al Qamzi said.

The race takes place on Saturday, with practice and qualifying taking place over the next three days.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Al Mehairbi and Rashid Al Qamzi will represent a UAE team in the Nations Cup races and they will be hoping to continue the UAE team’s unbeaten record in Nations Cup racing.

The UAE won the previous two Nations Cups, courtesy of Ahmed Al Hameli and Majed Al Mansoori in Singapore in 2011 and Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer in Khor Fakkan last year.

The emphasis in Nations Cups is on racing for a country and not individual glory. Match races take on a knock-out format with points awarded for each race and the winners eventually progressing to the final.

There is also a pair of 20-minute sprint races. Italy, Lebanon, Qatar, UAE, Norway, Russia and Saudi Arabia will be represented at the inaugural Qatar Nations Cup.

Al Mehairbi usually competes in the UIM F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy, but as he is competing in the Nations Cup, his spot will be taken in Qatar by Rashid Al Romaithi.

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