Al Qubaisi sisters battle it out for honours in IAME X30 Challenge junior class

Sport360 staff 15:27 19/12/2015
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Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi embrace on the podium after the race.

Drivers from the Daman Speed Academy took part in an action packed weekend of karting at the RAK Track in Ras Al Khaimah in Abu Dhabi for the first time in the third round of the IAME X30 Challenge.

In junior class, sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi went full throttle all the way in a breath-taking battle for third place in the final race.

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The siblings raced at a good pace with Hamda finishing in third place and her elder sister Amna finishing just behind in fourth after 14 laps of clean driving.

“It was a great weekend,” Hamda said, “It’s my first time in junior class and I enjoyed the X30 challenge a lot especially with the tough competition against my sister who was just behind me, I am really happy to finish onto the podium and I think both of us deserve P3."

Drivers from the Daman Speed Academy took part in the race meet in Abu Dhabi.

In cadet class, Abdulla Al Qubaisi was uncatchable during qualifying and successfully secured his second pole position in a row.

The final race was tough for the trio of Ahmed Al Saadi, Ali Al Shamsi and Abdulla Al Qubaisi but they managed to complete the race in P4, 5 and 6 respectively.

The DSA drivers will be competing in the remaining four races in the X30 challenge season in parallel to their participation in the UAE Rotax Max Challenge.

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Team Abu Dhabi win world teams title as Marit Stromoy creates history

Sport360 staff 18:24 18/12/2015
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Winner: Alex Carella.

Norway’s Marit Stromoy won the Grand Prix of Sharjah today for the first ever race victory by a woman driver in the history of the F1H20 World Championship, while Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella and Thani Al-Qamzi rounded off their first season together by clinching the world teams title.

Carella’s second place finish to Stromoy also ensured he claimed runner’s up spot in the drivers’ championship behind Frenchman Philippe Chiappe who took the crown in Abu Dhabi eight days earlier but went out on the 19th lap with mechanical problems today while leading.

Al-Qamzi also suffered a later retirement with mechanical issues, but the Emirati and Italian three-times world champion Carella brought the teams title to the UAE capital for the first time, topping the team standings by 17 points from CTIC China’s Chiappe and Ziwei Xiong.

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“We had a nice race, but after five or six laps I had problems with propellers,” said Carella at the finish. “I almost broke two blades and had no speed on the straights. I tried my best to get close to Marit and pass her but she was fast and not letting me through.

“But I’m very pleased that we have won the teams championship, and that I’ve finished second in the drivers’ championship. I’m happy for all the team. To do this in our first season together is a big achievement.”

This was Team Abu Dhabi’s second world championship success of the season after Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson delivered the ever UIM Class 1 crown to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club last month.

It means this season goes down as the most successful to date for the team, which runs under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President and the club’s chairman, and is sponsored by Etihad Airways, the official carrier, Marina Mall and Nirvana Travel & Tourism.

Engine issues cost Chiappe his early lead and the EMIC Team’s Stromoy took up the reins, holding off a fierce challenge from Carella to confirm her Grand Prix breakthough. The winning margin for the Norwegian was a mere 4.70 seconds after a stunning drive into the history books as she became the first woman ever to win a motor sport event at the highest level.

Chiappe had made the best start and passed pole-sitter Erik Stark to snatch the early lead from Stromoy, Carella, Stark, Torrente and Selio.

Al-Qamzi slipped to eighth before moving back to seventh, as Chiappe gradually pulled away from the chasing pack.

But the current world champion’s demise promoted Carella to second, Al-Qamzi to sixth and, with Ziong having already fallen by the wayside, gifted the UIM teams’ title to Team Abu Dhabi with 25 of 43 laps remaining.

Al-Qamzi.

Stromoy maintained her composure through lap 25, although Carella was breathing down her neck in second and Stark was a close third.

Andersson managed to pass Al-Qamzi on lap 30 to take sixth and the Emirati was then forced to withdraw from the race. Portugal’s Duarte Benavente also retired and his demise promoted Nadir Bin Hendi into the top 10.

The Norwegian held her nerve over the closing stages while Torrente passed Stark in the dying seconds to claim third place.

Earlier, Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qamzi rounded off their highly encouraging 2015 F-4S Trophy campaigns by finishing fourth and sixth respectively in the final race of the season, and the championship.

After his opening lap flip and eventual disqualification the previous day after he had finished in first place, Al-Mehairbi needed a good start in the final race of the season. But both he and Al-
Qemzi made poor starts and finished in fourth and sixth places as Finn Anton Nyholm won again from Germany’s new world champion, Mike Szymura.

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Thani Al-Qamzi targets team title at F1 H20 Championship

Sport360 staff 08:06 17/12/2015
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Raring to go: Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella.

Thani Al-Qamzi hopes the momentum from Alex Carella’s victory on home waters last weekend in the UAE capital and his own brilliant climb through the field can lift Team Abu Dhabi to glory in today’s (Friday) final round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship in Sharjah.

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Both Al-Qamzi and Carella head into the Grand Prix of Sharjah with the chance to finish runner-up to Frenchman Philippe Chiappe in the F1 drivers’ championship, and together they hope to secure the world team title for Team Abu Dhabi.

“The team is very strong now and we want to finish the season with another win,” said Al-Qamzi. “Everyone has been working very hard and we have prepared well for Sharjah to get the boats right.

“I remember winning there in 2012. It was a fantastic race and I will give everything I have on Friday to try and win again. After my engine problems in Abu Dhabi last week I was upset and frustrated, but I was very happy to fight back and finish third.”

After his hopes of a first victory in his home event had been ruined by engine failures in practice and qualifying, Al-Qamzi climbed through the field brilliantly to finish on the podium.

He says it was his most dramatic recovery since he came from the back of the field to win a Formula 2 race in Abu Dhabi in 2002.

Added to Carella’s stunning win, it saw the Team Abu Dhabi pair climb above CTIC China’s Chiappe and Ziwei Xiong to take a two-point lead in the race for the F1 world teams title.

“It will mean a lot to all the team if we can win the championship,” said Al Qamzi, who is determined to deliver a second world title to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

Action on Khaled Lagoon starts with time trials for the F-4S boats prior to the F1 practice session beginning at 10:15. The first of two F-4S races starts at 14:30 and is followed by F1 qualifying from 15:30.

F-4S practice and time trials will be repeated from 09:10. The second of the F-4S races takes place at 14:30 and the Grand Prix of Sharjah from 15:30.

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