UAE champion and Prema PowerTeam driver Amna Al Qubaisi is looking forward to Round 3 of the F4 Italian Championship which will be held at Monza from June 1-3.
Having made her F4 debut at Adria in April, where she was on the podium, Amna is hoping to do well once again racing against some of the best in the Rookie class at the famous Monza circuit.
Amna said: “At the outset, I have to say I felt very proud when I heard the UAE national anthem played at Adria when I was on the podium in April. This encourages me to do well again.
“The focus will be to continue learning, gaining experience and like all the other drivers to win, if not to at least be on the podium.”
The Formula 4 season got under way at the Adria International Raceway on April 22 and will conclude at the Mugello Circuit on October 28.
The championship comprises of a total of seven race weekends, with other venues including Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola and Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi.
Abu Dhabi Racing is an Abu Dhabi-based company in the UAE working on a number of initiatives designed to bolster the Emirates’ presence in global Motorsport.
The highlight of 2017 was victory for Abu Dhabi Racing Chairman Sheikh Khalid Bin Faisal Al Qassimi at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
There was to be no fairy-tale repeat for Dubai’s Ed Jones in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 as the standout rookie from the 2017 edition of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ crashed out of contention at just past one-quarter distance – but he is already vowing to come back “stronger”.
Jones, 23, stole the headlines with a tremendous top-three finish on his debut in the legendary 500-mile showdown this time last year. But following a tricky build-up, he lined up only 29th for Sunday’s second start in the fiercely-contested race after an uncharacteristic error spoiled his four-lap average in qualifying.
The main event itself got under way in sweltering conditions – the hottest Indy 500 in more than eight decades. The 2016 Indy Lights title-holder and 2017 IndyCar ‘Rookie of the Year’ managed to make it until lap 58, when his 720bhp Dallara-Honda single-seater got loose in the dirty air of the cars ahead going through turn two and slammed into the wall.
“It was a frustrating end to our race in the NTT Data car,” reflected former European F3 Open Champion Jones. “We struggled a bit in the first stint, but then made progress and we were looking better after the pit-stop.
“Unfortunately, there were two cars in front of me going two-wide, and the characteristics of the car were understeer – then I got massive oversteer and wasn’t able to catch it. That was obviously hugely disappointing, but my crew was outstanding and we’ll be back and stronger in Detroit.”
The Victory Team duo of Mansoor Al Mansoori and Khalfan Suhail Al Muhairi will mount their first serious challenge on the UIM F2 World Championship at the season-opening Grand Prix of Lithuania on the Kaunas Reservoir, this weekend.
Al Mansoori, who went on to win the F4 world crown ahead of F1 Atlantic Team’s Jeremy Brisset and Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al Muhairbi last season, has been promoted from F4 to F2.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Qemzi is the defending champion in the F2 category that has witnessed the dominance of Swedish drivers led by Erik Stark’s four titles (from 2011 to 2014) and Pierre Lundin’s two world crowns in 2015 and 2016.
This week’s opening round of the F2 World Championship in Kaunas will be followed by the second round in Aalborg, Denmark in mid-June before moving on to Tonsberg, Norway (August 4-5), Ribadouro, Portugal (September 22-23) and finally on to Colombo, Sri Lanka (November 10-11).
For Team Abu Dhabi’s Al Qemzi it will be a return to the scene of his maiden UIM F2 World crown as he begins his title defence at the opening round that will also feature the FR-1000 European Championship.
“The objective is to always be number one on the podium. But this is powerboat racing and anything can happen to even the best. We are confident of doing well and getting a few points in this class of powerboat racing,” said Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Victory Team.
“The basic idea is to see how our drivers do in this class.
“This season we have deliberately moved along nearly all existing classes of powerboat racing and we are confident that our youth can deliver the goods for the blue boats.”
The Grand Prix of Lithuania will get the green flag at 15:30 (14:30 pm UAE) on Sunday. Competitors will compete on a two-kilometre, six-pin F2 course.