Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al-Qemzi gears up for Danish Grand Prix

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Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi misses out on his chance to shine in Sunday’s new UIM F1 H2O Grand Prix of London to take part in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Denmark, the second round of the UIM F2 World Championship, which has been arranged for the same weekend.

Al-Qemzi, who clinched the prestigious F2 title last year in Portugal, teams up with Rashed Al-Tayer for the weekend’s race that is being staged on Limfjord between the two parts of the city of Aalborg. Aalborg lies to the south of the fjord and Nørresundby lies to the north.

The Emiratis endured mixed fortunes at the first round of the well-supported F2 series in Kaunas, Lithuania, last month.
Al-Qemzi finished fourth to claim nine valuable championship points. Al-Tayer on the other hand, was running strongly and setting impressive lap times, but he crashed out of the race and failed to pick up any points from a series opener.
With Sweden’s Mette Bjerknaes and Portugal’s Duarte Benavente missing the Danish race to take part in the F1 H2O round in London and Italy’s Ivan Brigada and David Del Pin also reportedly absent, the door is open for the likes of Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas to challenge the Team Abu Dhabi duo for the podium places on the Limfjord course.
“I made a solid start in Lithuania and managed to put some points on the board,” said Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Qemzi. “There is a big field of boats this year and it is important to get the right set-up quickly and deliver a good performance in qualifying.”

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Omanis Al Faisal Al Zubair and Khalid Al Wahaibi endure differing fortunes at Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland

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Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair and Khalid Al Wahaibi survived a dramatic opening race at the Red Bull Ring, the first half of the second round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in Austria on Saturday afternoon.

Al Zubair was running ahead of his young Omani colleague until he suffered a collision, spun out in traffic after 10 of the 17 laps and had to fight his way back through the field to the finish.

Al Wahaibi reached the chequered flag just outside the top 10 on his European Porsche racing debut in Spielberg.

Austrian driver and pole position winner Thomas Preining and Germany’s Michael Ammermuller completed a one-two finish for the BWT Lechner Racing Team, while Dutchman Larry ten Voorde finished third.

Al Zubair said: “I got hit in the first lap and, from then on, the balance of the car completely went. I was running P13 in a race that had become damage limitation.

“I went in for another move and got hit completely, spun and had an accident. After that, I was just trying to catch up. Today it was a bit more than just touching out on the track.”

In contrast, Al Wahaibi was pleased with his maiden effort for the team.

“It was a good start to my European season,” said Al Wahaibi.

“We started in P19 and I finished P12 or 13, not sure exactly because the results are not final. It was a huge grid so you always have a lot of cars in front of you and behind you.

“It’s a great way to learn. I start further up the field for the second race in P16. Hopefully we can keep moving forward.”

Al Zubair, driving for the Lechner Racing Team Middle East team, and his fellow countryman Al Wahaibi struggled with the traffic on the circuit in qualifying, but were moved up to 14th and 17th for the start of race one.

Khalid Al Wahaibi impressed on debut

Khalid Al Wahaibi impressed on debut.

Preining and Ten Voorde filled the front row of the grid and the Austrian held his line and the lead through lap one, as Ammermuller moved into second place and Peter Scheufen spun out and Dylan Pereira survived a spin himself and slipped to 30th position. Al Zubair and Al Wahaibi held 15th and 16th through lap two.

Both Omanis gained another place each on lap three and Al Wahaibi passed Al Zubair soon afterwards to move into 14th.

Preining, Ammermuller and Ten Voorde held the podium positions into lap seven and Al Zubair regained 14th from Al Wahaibi.

Al Zubair spun out after a collision in traffic on lap 10 and dropped to 23rd as Al Wahaibi benefited to gain 14th.

The rookie gained another place to 13th on the next lap, as the leading trio maintained their positions heading into the last three laps.

Igor Waliko suffered a collision, retired in the gravel and his demise from seventh place promoted Al Wahaibi to 12th and Al Zubair to 22nd.

The defending Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East driver then moved up another place to 21st.

The safety car was brought out on lap 15 of 17, after Marius Nakker retired and the flag went green with one lap remaining. Preining held on to fend off Ammermuller and Ten Voorde to seal the victory.

Al Wahaibi lost two places after the restart to finish 14th and Al Zubair reached the chequered flag in midfield after gaining several positions after his 10th-lap incident.

Race two fires into life at 11.40 on Sunday.

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A clean sweep in China for UAE's rising karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri

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Rising star: UAE's Rashid Al Dhaheri

Despite his young age, Rashid Al Dhaheri’s racing exploits have seen him rapidly rise through the ranks of the karting scene in the UAE and Italy. In a further career development, he has taken part in his first race in China where he powered to a clean-sweep of victories.

The Abu Dhabi schoolboy made his debut in the China ASEAN ROK Cup at the Nanning International Karting track, where he lined up with other drivers in the 60cc Mini Class. The event consisted two back-to-back days of qualifying and racing.

Al Dhaheri qualified fastest to take pole position by three-tenths of a second over his nearest rival. In both heats, he controlled the pace and emerged as the comfortable winner in the final to score his first victory on Chinese soil.

The next day,  Al Dhaheri took pole again, this time by three-quarters of a second. The Emirati youngster, who mustered all his experience of racing in the wet in Italy, to deliver an impressive performance, winning by a minute and almost lapping the entire field despite the challenging and tricky conditions.

His victory on the second day underlined a fine performance where he was unbeaten in the Mini Class throughout the weekend.

The youngster said: “It was great, I enjoyed the fans here, I never signed so many autographs. People are friendly and it is always a good feeling to win on a new track in a new championship.”

Long time coach and ex-Formula 2 champion, Italian Fausto Ippoliti, added: “It was a great experience for Rashid, his first race in the ROK ASEAN ROK Cup competition where the track, the conditions, the atmosphere and even certain rules were all new to him.”

 “I was very impressed with Rashid’s capacity to rapidly adapt to this new environment, new track and setting up the kart to get the pole position very effectively. This shows how he has evolved with experience and drives with a maturity that belies his age.”

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