Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qemzi, Alex Carella, Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori produced a sensational fight back to finish fourth in the S2 class and sixth overall in the 54th 24 Hours of Rouen on France’s River Seine on Monday afternoon.
The team lost their chance of retaining their Class S2 title when Carella somersaulted the Team Abu Dhabi 35 DAC boat after 267 laps and the crew plummeted down the rankings while the boat was repaired.
But that was the start of a stunning fight back through the field on the opening round of the UIM World Endurance Championship.
The race finished late on Monday afternoon and the team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) was able to complete 678 laps after repairs and missed out on a podium finish by just four laps.
The overall race win fell to the French Team Nollet crew that included triple UIM F1 H2O World Champion and five-time Rouen winner Philippe Chiappe and his CTIC Shenzhen team-mate Peter Morin. Team Privilege 25 won Class S2 and finished second overall.
The Emirati quartet of Mohammed Al-Mehairbi, Faleh Al-Mansoori, Rashed Al-Remeithi and Majed Al-Mansoori raced in Team Abu Dhabi 36, with Majed Al-Mansoori replacing Rashed Al-Qemzi at the 11th hour.
The quartet actually led the race outright for a short period of time around the two-hour mark, but suffered a bitter setback after 86 laps when their UIM F4 and F2 reserve driver Al-Remeithi was caught out by the spray coming from two boats running ahead of him and his boat blew over.
The Emirati was not injured in the incident but the DAC’s left sponson was completely destroyed.
“This is one of the most famous endurance races in the world and both our teams showed their pace and determination and both were leading at one point in the early stages of the race,” said Salem Al-Remeithi, general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
“It’s disappointing that we were not able to retain the S2 class title, but the race was fantastic experience for everyone and gave our drivers the chance for valuable time in the race boats.”
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The team was great! Everybody's effort was SPECTACULAR 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) April 23, 2017
With the best player in HISTORY 💯💯💯💯💯
Congratulations my friend !!!!! pic.twitter.com/0o0oja9PPF
One more time— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) April 23, 2017
I gonna celebrate
Oh yeah, all right
Don't stop the dancing. pic.twitter.com/BrJga88yaG
D10S— Marc Bartra (@MarcBartra) April 23, 2017
En la victoria o en la derrota, siempre miramos hacia delante.— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) April 24, 2017
In victory or defeat, we always look ahead.
¡Vamos mi Madrid! https://t.co/z5yNaoOKmO
Absolutely bonkers game. Sensational.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 23, 2017