x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Al Qamzi and Al Hameli finish top-10 in China

Abu Dhabi duo in sixth and seventh in powerboat competition despite having to race in second-choice boats as their equipment was delayed by bad weather.

Ahmed Al Hameli was pleased with the result after having to handle a second-choice boat in China.
Ahmed Al Hameli was pleased with the result after having to handle a second-choice boat in China.

LIUZHOU, China // Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi and Ahmed Al Hameli qualified in sixth and seventh place for Wednesday’s Grand Prix of China – despite racing in second-choice boats as their equipment was delayed by bad weather.

Typhoon weather conditions and resultant shipping delays into Hong Kong meant that the latest UAE team boats were not present on the Liu River in Liuzhou for Tuesday’s qualifying session.

The ship containing their racing boats was not able to dock in Hong Kong and it continued on to Korea without stopping.

However, the Emirati team scraped together enough spare parts to allow its two drivers to take part in a pair of second-choice race boats from another container.

Scott Gillman, the team manager, had no other option but to use their back-up equipment, with Al Qamzi using last year’s BaBa boat and Al Hameli using a DAC he hadn’t raced in since 2009.

“It was a big disappointment for our chances here in Liuzhou,” said Gillman. “We were going around borrowing and buying essential items including engines to get ready for qualifying.”

Al Qamzi beat his teammate to the final qualifying position in the six-boat Q3 shoot-out and confirmed sixth place with a lap of 47.09 seconds, but pole position for the 250th race in the history of the championship fell to defending world champion Alex Carella of the Qatar Team, with series leader Shaun Torrente in second and former champion Sami Selio of Finland in third.

Both Emiratis were happy, ahead of round three of the 2013 UIM F1 H20 World Championship, given the pre-qualifying problems.

“This was obviously not our favourite equipment but, under the circumstances, I am quite happy with my performance today and now we can look ahead with confidence to the race,” said Al Hameli. “I practiced yesterday and this morning and I feel good. It is going to be a tough race with so many strong teams. It is a nice course, a little windy but good for racing. I am so happy to be back racing against my brothers after everything that has happened.”

In the first of the two UIM F-4S category races for the Eurofin Trophy, Mohammed Al Mehairbi qualified in seventh place for the and reached the finish of the 19-lap race in sixth. Sweden’s 16-year-old Morgan Jernfast led from pole position to take victory by over six seconds from German championship leader Mike Szymura.

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