|Carella And Torrente Begin Qatar’s Defence Of World Championship Title|
|Wednesday, 07 March 2012 02:34|
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Team begins the defence of its UIM F1 H20 World Championship title at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Qatar in Doha Bay.
Backed by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), the two-boat team dominated last year’s prestigious championship, with the title being decided at the final round of the series in Sharjah.
Alex Carella and Jay Price collided on the opening lap of that thrilling race and Carella followed his experienced team-mate (World Champion in 2008) into the history books by being crowned 2011 World Champion.
Shortly after the race, Price resigned from the Qatar Team after spending several loyal and successful seasons in F2000 and F1 with the Doha-based outfit and Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the (QMSF) - which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani – announced that the talented American racer Shaun Torrente had joined the Qatar Team to run alongside Carella for the new season.
“We have a new year, a new team and a new set of targets,” enthused Al-Kuwari. “The goal is to win every race and retain the title in 2012. We have two young and talented drivers and I am confident that they can deliver the performances we achieved last year with Jay and Alex.”
Al-Kuwari realises that the race environment is becoming even more competitive and pinpoints the Team Abu Dhabi duo of Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmed Al-Hameli, Finland’s Sami Selio and the CTIC China team as the most likely rivals at the opening race in Qatar.
Qatar’s Khaled Saleh Al-Shamlan will continue to represent the Qatar Team in the successful UIM F-4S category. The talented Doha-based driver finished third in last year’s championship behind England’s Matthew Palfreyman and Sweden’s Bimba Sjoholm and is confident that he can challenge for the title in 2012.
“We want Khalid to drive in F-4S to try and win and maybe get some seat time during the season in F1,” added Al-Kuwari. “We will look at this after the first race.”
The Qatar Team carried out a pre-season test last week in Qatar and will use the same boats as 2011, with Carella using his regular DAC boat and Torrente slotting into Price’s hull. Al-Kuwari also confirmed that the team will use new engines, built by Brendan Power, for the opening race in Qatar this weekend.
Practice and time trials take place on Friday, March 9th and the 2012 Grand Prix of Qatar gets underway on Saturday, March 10th.
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