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2013 UIM F1 H20 World Championship

posted on 20/11/2013: 1909 views

Doha: Team Abu Dhabi's Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmed Al-Hameli will be aiming to close the gap on the leading four drivers in the UIM F1 H20 World Championship title race, when they tackle this weekend's 10th Grand Prix of Qatar, round four of the six-race series. The Grand Prix of Qatar fires into life on Saturday, November 23rd and is the culmination of a hectic four-days of racing on Doha Bay.

A disappointing result in Liuzhou last month means that Al-Qamzi now holds fifth place in the title race with three races remaining and a podium finish is crucial for the Emirati to get his title challenge back on track. The Italian defending World Champion, Alex Carella, of the Qatar Team is tied for the series lead on 44 points with former champion Sami Selio of Finland. Al-Qamzi holds fifth in the points' standings and is 22 points adrift, while team-mate Al-Hameli is down in ninth place.

"This is an important race for us and one where we need to close the gap at the top and achieve podium finishes," said a determined Al-Qamzi, who is fully prepared and relishing the challenge of the Doha Bay course. Team Abu Dhabi runs under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). Salem Al-Romaithi acts as the team head and works alongside team manager Scott Gillman, with the team running under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and President of the Board of Directors of the ADIMSC. Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi. Team Abu Dhabi is also running to promote Dubai's bid to host Expo 2020.

The F1 H20 race is the main event in a hectic week of marine sports racing in Doha Bay. The Qatar Marine Sports Federation will also host its inaugural Nations Cup race on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the Grand Prix of Qatar taking centre stage on Saturday.

Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashid Al-Qamzi will represent a U.A.E. team in the Nations Cup races and they will be hoping to continue the U.A.E. team's unbeaten record in Nations Cup racing. The U.A.E. won the previous two Nations Cups, courtesy of Ahmed Al-Hameli and Majed Al-Mansoori in Singapore in 2011 and Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer in Khor Fakkan last year.

The emphasis in Nations Cups is on racing for a country and not individual glory. Match races take on a "knockout" format, with points awarded for each race and the winners eventually progressing to the final. There is also a pair of 20-minute sprint races. Italy, Lebanon, Qatar, U.A.E., Norway, Russia and Saudi Arabia will be represented at the inaugural Qatar Nations Cup.

Rashid Al-Romaithi will represent Team Abu Dhabi in the two UIM F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy, as regular F-4S racer Al-Mehairbi concentrates on the Nations Cup in Qatar. The Emirati will take part in his first free practice and time trials on Thursday and the first of his races at 5pm (U.A.E. time) on Thursday afternoon. The second practice and time trial for F-4S entrants take place on Saturday and race two fires into life at 14.30hrs. Germany's Mike Szymura currently holds a 27-point lead in the F-4S championship over Sweden's Nicklas Friberg. Al-Mehairbi is fifth.

Nations Cup teams attended a briefing on Tuesday afternoon, where identical stock race boats, Mercury Optimax 2.5-litre engines and Dewald propellers were assigned and fuel was distributed. After a second briefing on Wednesday morning, entrants will take to the water for two practice sessions. There will be match races on Thursday and sprint races for the Nations Cup runners on Friday.

Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi will join the flagship F1 H20 drivers for their first free practice sessions and time trials on Friday. The Grand Prix of Qatar gets underway on Doha Bay at 16.45hrs (U.A.E. time) on Saturday afternoon.


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