Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella was forced out of contention from a pulsating Grand Prix of Liuzhou with technical issues after 17 of the race’s 50 laps and his demise carved a clean path for Ahmed Al-Hameli of the Emirates Racing Team to claim a stunning victory on the fifth round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship on Monday afternoon.
A delighted Al-Hameli last won a round of the series in Doha Bay in 2012, but the Emirati delivered a superb performance from pole position on the Liu River course to fend off a superb challenge from double World Champion and series leader Philippe Chiappe to record his stunning win.
Carella’s second successive disappointment gives the Team Abu Dhabi driver an uphill battle to now win the 2016 UIM F1 H2O World Championship for the fourth time.
The Italian trails series leader Chiappe by 25 points, with 40 points available at the remaining two rounds in December. Team-mate Thani Al-Qamzi delivered a solid performance in the second DAC boat and reached the finish in sixth position.
Double World Champion Sami Selio remained in title contention with the final podium position and Shaun Torrente of the Victory Team stayed in second place in the Drivers’ Championship, albeit 13 points behind Chiappe.
Team Abu Dhabi lost further ground in the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ series, with the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team now leading by 11 points from Mad Croc Baba Racing.
Rashed Al-Qamzi extended his lead in the 2016 UIM F4-S Championship to a commanding 36 points with four races to run, courtesy of an excellent 3.63sec victory in the second of the races on the Liu River.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that our man Denzil Pinto could not turn down but by the looks of it maybe wishes he did.
To celebrate the launch of BBC Worldwide’s partnership with streaming service Starz Play, meaning UAE viewers can now catch up on Top Gear, Denzil was taken round the track by presenter Chris Harris.
Racing at incredible speeds in the
Denzil has previous, he was once the co-pilot in a Red Bull Air Race plane in one of the most terrifying assignments our journalist’s have undertaken.
YMC CEO Al Tareq Al Ameri had previously hinted their desire of bringing the premier motorcycling competition to Abu Dhabi, but plans never materialised.
Due to illness, the Emirati was unable to attend yesterday’s calendar launch that will see YMC hold more than 377 activities (motorsport and non-motorsport) over the next 12 months.
But Ahmed Al Kaabi, head of strategic alliances at YMC, insists the idea to see the likes of Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo in action is still strong.
“The thing is people always ask why we don’t host this race or that race,” said Al Kaabi. “It all depends on the circuit. Sometimes we need to modify some of the safety areas at Yas Marina Circuit to accommodate any races for their specific needs.
“But in the future why not? (inhosting a MotoGP race), we’re always open to ideas. Every circuit in the world, whenever you host any events, there is safety procedures that you have to follow.”
When asked whether they have a timeframe in mind to stage a possible race, he replied: “I’m not sure when. In general in MotoGP, there would be very minor changes needed in safety to accommodate this race.”
في ملتقى الأبطال، نملك الكثير من التنوع و… 1/2 pic.twitter.com/miHZ2qogVk— Yas Marina Circuit (@ymcofficial) September 27, 2016
With the focus set for the new season, Formula One remains the highlight event for YMC. With still two months to go until the world’s elite drivers take to the track from November 25-27, preparations are going smoothly to deliver a “thrilling experience” for everyone.
“The ticket sales has been really good but it’s not sold out though,” said Al Kaabi. “Formula One, as is every year, is something always special and the title championship has been very exciting so far.
“It will be a thrilling experience for everyone this year.”
For the first time, the venue will host the Formula 4 UAE championship when it makes its debut from October 28-29. Twelve of the 18 rounds will be held in the capital for the new championship created by FIA, designed to help drivers in the UAE a chance to move up the ladderboard in the sport with FIA Super Licence points on offer.
“The preparations have been going well. We have had a lot of interest and hopefully we can finalise the drivers by early next month,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).