Thani Al Qamzi gave chase but came up second to defending series champion Alex Carella at the UIM F1 H20 Grand Prix of China in Liuzhou.
Al Qamzi chases Team Qatar's Carella to second in UIM H20 grand prix
Team Abu Dhabi had a day of mixed emotions at the Grand Prix of China in Liuzhou on Tuesday at the UIM F1 H20 World Championship.
Al Hameli, who had been 11 points ahead in the standings before the championship round in Liuzhou, was absent from the race because of illness, which required him to receive treatment in the United States, with Majed Al Mansoori standing in for him.
The race was interrupted by two yellow flag incidents.
The first sidelined the rookie, Bimba Sjoholm, and then, when the race restarted, Qatar's Shaun Torrente was involved in a collision with Finland's Sami Selio that forced out both drivers.
That enabled Al Qamzi to take up the pursuit of the world champion Alex Carella of the Qatar Team.
"This is a very good course for me," Al Qamzi said. "Last year I won here, and I was feeling confident at the start."
Carella started from pole position after winning an appeal when his original best time had been discounted because of an alleged driving infringement.
The Team Abu Dhabi driver was unable to catch the Italian and had to settle for second position, a mere 6.86 seconds behind Carella at the chequered flag after 38 laps.
"I had a real rough afternoon and had to push as hard as I could to hold off Thani," said Carella of his second win of 2012.
"The closest he got at one time was within three seconds of me but I was able to pace him to the finish."
Carella's victory sees him leapfrog Al Hameli at the top of the drivers' standings, moving nine points clear of the Emirati with only two rounds of the season remaining.
"It's a long way to the end of the season," Carella said, "so I have to just focus on the prize of winning more races before the sun sets in Sharjah in December."
Al Mansoori, finished in sixth position, one lap down on the leaders.
The next round of the championship takes place in Abu Dhabi on November 30, with the final round happening a week later in Sharjah.
Meanwhile, Emirati Mohammed Al Mehairbi finished fifth overall in the second of the F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy.
Sweden's Jesper Forss won his second race in as many days to take the lead in the championship from England's Matthew Palfreyman.
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