Rashed Al Tayer gets chance to make some waves

Chrisa 8/09/2016
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Ready to go: Rashed Al Tayer.

Rashed Al Tayer will step into the void left by team-mate Mohammed Al Mehairbi as Team Abu Dhabi head to France for Round 6 of the UIM F2 Grand Prix this weekend.

Al Tayer will be alongside Rashed Al Qamzi as the Emirates-backed team head to Macon.

The team, based at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, have entered three of the five rounds of the F2 series this season in Italy, Norway and Lithuania, and will enter two boats, Team Abu Dhabi 35 and 36, in France.

The campaign has been a valuable learning curve for both Al Qamzi and Al Mehairbi, with both taking top 10 finishes at the last round in Lithuania and Al Qamzi also finishing ninth in Norway.

Al Tayer now steps into the breach to replace Al Mehairbi in France.

“This race will be another exciting chapter in what has already been a thrilling and successful season for all our drivers across several racing disciplines” said Salem Al Romaithi, the team’s assistant general manager.

“We know that the competition is very strong in F2 and that’s why our drivers need to compete against the very best.”

Erik Edin leads this year’s UIM F2 World Championship, despite missing out on the win in Zarasai and eventually finishing fifth. The Swede is tied on 55 points with compatriot Pierre Lundin and the pair are 23 points ahead of third-placed Rupert Temper of Austria.

England’s Matthew Palfreyman is fourth on 30 points and victory in Lithuania has lifted Latvia’s Uvis Slakteris to sixth.

Al Qamzi, on nine points, is 14th after missing two rounds of the seven-race series in Finland and Norway earlier in the year.

Al Mehairbi, with one point, is 23rd. Qualifying and practice sessions take place on Saturday and the next round of the UIM F2 World Championship fires into life on Sunday afternoon.

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Carella’s run ends in a crash

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Shattered dreams: Team AD’s Carella

The Italian collided with Baba’s Racing’s Filip Roms when both drivers were battling for second position in the 60-lap race.

Their departure opened the door for pole position winner Sami Selio of Finland to take his first win of the season. Carella was taken to a local hospital for checks and medical attention.

Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson finished in second place, while defending World Champion Philippe Chiappe rounded off the podium and moved 10 points ahead of Carella in the standings.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al- Qamzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi finished the second of the weekend’s UIM F4-S races in third and sixth place and that was sufficient for Al-Qamzi to leave Harbin with an impressive lead of 25 points in the championship standings.

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Jones takes title chase to exciting climax

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On the move: Ed Jones

Dubai-based driver Ed Jones stormed back to within one point of series leader Santiago “Santi” Urrutia as the 2016 Indy Lights series heads for a dramatic finish following the penultimate round, the Grand Prix of Watkins Glen on Saturday night.

Jones finished second in the race, just 3.6 seconds behind Zach Veach, to increase his tally in the standings to 318, with Urrutia on 319 after finishing last following a left-front tyre issue.

The last two rounds of the series, which offers a Mazda Scholarship valued at $1 million to assist the Indy Lights champion in graduating to the IndyCar Series in 2017, will be held on September 9-11 at Raceway Laguna Seca.

Veach started fifth at the scenic and challenging 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International road course but quickly moved into the lead before romping to his second win of the season.

Urrutia started the race from the pole, but was usurped by a hard-chasing Jones in the 15th lap.

Within another couple of laps, Urrutia had fallen to fifth, but worse was to come when his left-front tire gave up on Lap 19 and he headed to pit lane for a replacement. He rejoined to finish a distant last.

Jones, who is backed by Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels and drives for Carlin, said: “This is a good result after Santi held us up in qualifying. I just sat behind him a little bit in the race, because when I was using ‘push-to-pass,’ he was using it as well but eventually I got by.

“After about 10 laps, the degradation was really high on the tires already and I expected it to get much worse but after that, if anything, it got a little better.

“I am happy with my position. It’s good to be back in the championship hunt with a strong second place.”

In the Team Championship, 11 points separate Carlin (365) from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (354).

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