x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Al Qazmi increases his lead

Thani al Qamzi finishes second behind the American Jay Prince to extend his UIM Formula One World Championship lead.

The American Jay Price of the Qatar Team won the second of the two back-to-back races in the UIM Formula One World Championship, but the Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani al Qamzi extended his lead in the championship after finishing second to the defending champion. Al Qamzi led briefly after his team mate Ahmad al Hameli, who started on pole, dropped down the order before Price came in with a late burst to win from the Emirati and the local driver Sami Selio on Lake Vesijarvi in Finland yesterday.

Al Qamzi collected 24 points from a possible 40 from the two races to take his tally to 53 points, 18 more than his closest challenger Price. "I was pretty happy to finish on points," said al Qamzi. "I had my chances but I found one too good this time. I am happy to come out of this race with the maximum points than any other driver. "This is important for me to build on the lead after the opening grand prix in Portugal."

The nine times Italian champion Guido Cappellini, who won the previous day, finished fourth ahead of the Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe and al Hameli. The race was stopped four times and was interrupted after the Swede Pierre Lundin flipped his machine in the 32nd lap when he was running in third spot. The restart played up to Price's strength as he sneaked past al Qamzi with five laps remaining. Al Hameli, who had led for most of the 37-lap race, said: "I was looking good and feeling confident. It was very close towards the finish, but I was late getting going after the green flag was raised and that cost me dearly."

The next round of the championship is on Aug 8 in Russia. apassela@thenational.ae