x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Wire-to-wire victory hands Carella third UIM F1 H2O title

Championship leader falls out of top three after technical issues

Thani Al Qamzi finished fifth for Team Abu Dhabi at the UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix of Sharjah on Friday. Courtesy Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club
Thani Al Qamzi finished fifth for Team Abu Dhabi at the UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix of Sharjah on Friday. Courtesy Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club

SHARJAH // Alex Carella of the Qatar Team led from start to finish to win the Grand Prix of Sharjah on Khalid Lagoon on Friday, securing his third successive UIM F1 H2O world championship.

The Italian completed the 38-lap race 1.98 seconds ahead of the runner-up Philippe Chiappe, and the Frenchman was in turn followed across the line by the American Shaun Torrente, who finished second in the championship standings.

Finland’s Sami Selio came to Sharjah with a two-point lead in the season championship, but he suffered technical problems and retired on Lap 22.

The hull of Selio’s boat suffered damage on Thursday and could not be repaired in time. On Friday, teammate Filip Roms stepped down to allow Selio to take part in the main event, although he had to start from the 13th position.

Selio worked his way up to seventh before the malfunction sidelined him.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al Hameli and Thani Al Qamzi were fourth and fifth for Team Abu Dhabi.

“I made a good start and continued the race and am delighted to make the finish,” Al Hameli said. “I feel good. I had a bad season, but I am confident that we will do better for next year.”

Carella became the first F1 H2O driver to win three straight titles since his compatriot Guido Cappellini did so from 2001 to 2003.

In the F-4S competition, Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Romaithi qualified seventh and finished the race in the same position. Nikita Lijcs of Latvia won the race and Germany’s Mike Szymura won the season championship.

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