x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Abu Dhabi powerboat duo fight to finish

Ahmed al Hameli and Thani al Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi make spirited charges up the grid, but fall just short of the podium in the Qatar GP.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed al Hameli finished a creditable fourth in the Grand Prix of Qatar.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed al Hameli finished a creditable fourth in the Grand Prix of Qatar.

Ahmed al Hameli and Thani al Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi made spirited charges up the grid yesterday, but they fell just short of the podium at the Grand Prix of Qatar, round six of the 2010 UIM F1 World Championship.

Replacing engines in the build-up to the race meant that the Emirati drivers started from 16th and 18th places from 19 boats on the grid. They did remarkably well to recover; al Hameli finished fourth and al Qamzi sixth.

Jay Price of Qatar regained the lead in the championship by taking a start-to-finish win, his cause helped significantly when Francesco Cantando of Italy flipped his boat on the first lap.

Sami Selio of Finland and the Italian Alex Carella finished second and third, creating a three-way tie for second in the drivers' championship race among Cantando, Selio and Carella.

Al Hameli's nine points for fourth lifts the Team Abu Dhabi driver into seventh place in the drivers' championship. Al Qamzi's 100 per cent finishing record from the six races run so far this year sees him in fifth position. He still has a realistic chance of claiming his first world title after the final two rounds of the series, in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah next month.

"It was always going to a struggle today to get to the podium," said al Hameli, who also claimed maximum points in the Fast Lap Trophy and extended his lead to 15 points. "But we both finished strongly and that bodes well for the big race in Abu Dhabi next weekend."

* Agency