x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Al Qamzi leads into home water

The Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani al Qamzi will start as the leader in the world Formula One powerboat championship on home water in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

The Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani al Qamzi will start as the leader in the world Formula One championship on home water in Abu Dhabi next weekend. Al Qamzi and his teammate Ahmad al Hameli finished fourth and fifth respectively, the former picking up enough points to keep the overall lead after the nine-time Italian world champion Guido Cappellini won his second race in two days to move second in the world points standing. Cappellini led from start to finish ahead of compatriot Francesco Cantando and Phillipe Chiappe of France in Doha, Qatar. Al Qamzi finished in third place behind Cappellini and Cantando, but was overtaken by the Frenchman in the latter stages. Al Qamzi took his tally to 112 points, three ahead of Cappellini. "I pushed as hard as my boat could go, and didn't try to do anything more and ruin my chances of finishing out of the points," he said. "It was important for me to keep the lead. This is my best chance of winning the world title. I have worked and toiled hard for nine years, and I don't want to just throw it away at this stage of the championship." Al Qamzi's teammate al Hameli crossed the finish line fifth to stay a close ninth overall. "It was a difficult race in tricky conditions. The priority was to make sure that I put points on the board and I managed to nip back into fifth at the finish and stay ahead in the championship going back to Abu Dhabi," he said. The defending champion Jay Price, the American racing under the Qatar flag, dropped out in the first lap and is joint fifth on 70 in the points table with Cantando. The Swede Jonas Andersson (99) and the Finn Sami Selio (89) are in third and fourth. apassela@thenational.ae