|Sunday, 20 November 2011 08:52|
MARINA BAY (Singapore): Team Qatar’s Khalid Saleh Al-Shamlan finished Saturday’s Match Race at the first ever F1 H20 Nations Cup in Singapore in a superb second position after shadowing the experienced Team UAE racer Ahmed Al-Hameli to the finish.
Despite the additional experience of his rival in Class 1 and F1 racing, Al-Shamlan produced a superb performance in Marina Bay, much to the delight of Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the QMSF. “Khalid drove very well today and we are all delighted with the performance. He will start the Grand Prix on Sunday sandwiched in between two Team UAE boats and that will make for an exciting race.”
After finishing eighth and 11th in the morning’s official practice session, the duo went straight into the first ever Nations Cup time trials in Singapore and qualified for the main race on Sunday in second and eighth positions, with Al-Shamlan slotting into a spot between Al-Hameli and Majed Al-Mansoori with a fastest lap of 36.20s.
Team Brunei’s Ismail bin Hj Kabon and Team South Africa’s Mark Shepherd rounded off the top five in the time trials and will start Sunday’s race from fourth and fifth.
Drama unfolded during the morning’s free practice and this delayed the start of the time trials. Team Brunei’s Nordin Bin Haji Mohamad barrel-rolled into turn five and that feat was repeated by Team South Africa’s Tim Fetherstonhaugh minutes later. Neither driver was injured, but they were forced to miss the afternoon’s Match Race.
Team Qatar then entered Saturday afternoon’s Match Race, with Al-Shamlan paired up against Hungary’s Viktor Vo and Al-Kuwari lining up against Team Saudi Arabia in the first heats. Al-Kuwari was eventually excluded from the competition for tapping a turn buoy, but had shown a useful turn of speed nonetheless.
The two Qatar boats ran for 42 and 51 laps respectively in Friday’s first official free practice and Al-Shamlan and Al-Kuwari recorded the second and eighth quickest times of the 20-boat entry, although only 14 of the boats took to the water.
Neither of the Finnish or Saudi Arabian boats registered times on the water. South Africa 1, driven by Mark Shepherd, set the target lap time of 37.42s, with the Qatar boats registering 37.83s and 39.37s, respectively.
There will be a third practice session on Sunday morning before the F1 H20 Nations Cup Singapore Grand Prix fires into life on Sunday afternoon.
F1H2O Nations Cup – official qualifying (time trials)
6 UAE / Ahmed Al Hameli – 35.33s
4 Qatar / Khalid Al Shamlan – 36.20s
5 UAE / Majed Al Mansoori – 36.87s
10 Brunei / Ismail bin Hj Kabon – 37.53s
7 South Africa / Mark Shepherd – 37.60s
14 Finland / Risto Painio – 38.44s
16 Malaysia / Kane Fernandez – 38.75s
3 Qatar / Khalid Al Kuwari -38.76s
18 Brazil / Paul Gaiser – 38.86s
22 Hungary / Viktor Vo – 39.08s
12 Singapore / Larry Chua Wen Zheng – 39.52s
21 Hungary / Kornel Vo – 39.97s
15 Malaysia / Robert Fernandez – 40.54ss
11 Singapore / Laurence Wong Seong – 44.44s
13 Finland / Meeri Painio – 45.43s
19 Saudi Arabia / Naeem al Kedawi – 45.74s
17 Brazil / Lebos Chaguri – 46.50
8 South Africa / Tomthy Fetherstonhaugh – dns
9 Brunei / Nordin bin Haji Mohamad - dns
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