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Team Abu Dhabi finishes in 5th and 9th position at Qatar UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix

posted on 16/03/2015: 1569 views

DOHA: Team Abu Dhabi's Alex Carella and team rookie David Del Pin finished fifth and ninth in a dramatic Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening round of the 2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, on a tricky and windswept Doha Bay course on Saturday afternoon.

Australian girl Briney Rigby claimed pole position from Bingchen Wu for the 20-minute F-4S race, but fuel pump issues forced Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al-Remeithi to miss qualifying and the Emirati would have started the race from eighth place. But event organisers deemed the water conditions unsafe for the rookies to venture on to and the second F-4S race of the weekend was also cancelled.

Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the UAE President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, ADIMSC.

With Torrente on pole and defending World Champion Chiappe lining up in second, Team Abu Dhabi began the 38-lap race from 10th and 15th once mechanics had worked to resolve Carella's fuel pressure issues. Bernd Enzenhofer was towed off the windy course with engine trouble shortly before the lights went out and the race started under a yellow flag behind the pace boat.

The green flag was eventually raised on lap three and Torrente stormed into a 4.4-second lead over Chiappe, as the boats bounced around alarmingly in the choppy water. Carella and Del Pin held eighth and 14th for Team Abu Dhabi heading into lap six. Torrente extended his advantage over Chiappe to 6.03 seconds after nine laps, as Ahmed Al-Hameli struggled to maintain third with his shorter boat in the windy conditions. Carella and Del Pin were ninth and 12th, but Francesco Cantando retired.

The top three held station through 15 laps and Stark, Selio and Forss held fourth, fifth and sixth places, with Carella and Del Pin in eighth and 12th. By halfway, Torrente's lead was 14.08 seconds over Chiappe, but the fight for third began to intensify between Al-Hameli, Stark, Selio and Forss. Four seconds separated the quartet heading into lap 22, but Selio and Al-Hameli got caught in a high-speed coming together on the back straight when Selio lost control and ditched his boat into the path of Al-Hameli. The yellow flag was raised. Neither driver was seriously injured, but the impact badly damaged Al-Hameli's boat and the Emirati was transferred to hospital for observation.

Team Abu Dhabi's Carella and Del Pin climbing to sixth and 10th before the yellow flag was raised, but Forss was forced out of the reckoning before the finish. Race officials decided not to let the action restart and Torrente won his second successive race in Qatar under a yellow flag after 36 laps with Carella and Del Pin finishing in fifth and ninth. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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