Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi maintained his composure and drove superbly to finish second behind the defending World Champion Philippe Chiappe at the Grand Prix of China, the fourth round of the 2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, on the Lui River on Friday.
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French pilot Chiappe led from start-to-finish and moved into an unofficial 12-point outright lead of the World Championship with a seven-second win, as Al-Qamzi fended off a persistent challenge from Finland’s Sami Selio to maintain second place and claim 15 valuable championship points.
“This was a long race and my strategy worked perfectly,” said AlQamzi, who now lies sixth in the championship with 20 points. “I managed to stay ahead of Sami and shadow Philippe to the finish and that keeps Team Abu Dhabi in the hunt for the Teams’ Championship.”
Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan stayed ahead of the Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente to claim fourth and Norwegian Marit Stromoy rounded off the top six.
Team Abu Dhabi’s second driver Alex Carella had won the last three races in Luizhou and started this race from eighth.
The Italian made a charge from the outset and was holding sixth when he was sidelined with mechanical issues on lap five.
On his part, Chiappe was thrilled to finally win in China having competed there on 15 previous occasions over the past 11 years without recording a victory until Friday.
“It was a tough 45 lap event and I had to be very careful through the traffic today,” said the CTIC China Team pilot. “We had the perfect package and I feel very satisfied with the teams performance and had no real issues all weekend long under extreme pressure to finally win here at my team’s home race circuit.”
In F-4S Trophy action, Germany’s Mike Szymura was gifted a second race win of the weekend to take overall victory in Liuzhou in race 2 after Rashed Al Qemzi’s achilles heel struck again, the Abu Dhabi driver taking the chequered flag in first place but then given a one lap penalty for a jump start.
With the conclusion of the fourth round of the championship, all eyes now shift to the United Arab Emirates where back-to-back race weekends are planned in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah on December 10 and 11 and December 17 and 18 respectively to determine this year’s Drivers Championship.
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