|Qatar’s Alex Carella Snatches Pole Position In Thrilling Qualifying Session For Grand Prix Of China|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:17|
LIUZHOU (China): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente will start Tuesday’s 18th Grand Prix of China from pole position and fifth place after a thrilling qualifying session on Liuzhou’s Liu River on Monday.
In a session where just 1.05 seconds separated the top six drivers, Carella’s fastest lap of 44.68 seconds was sufficient for the Qatar driver to claim pole and extend his lead in the UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship. Torrente qualified in fifth with a best lap of 45.58 seconds.
“I am very happy for Alex,” said Khaliid 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.
“He will start from the front tomorrow and that is perfect for our strategy. Maybe we gave the wrong propeller setting for Shaun, but he is a fighter and a determined driver and I am sure he will do well in the race from fifth place.”
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari finished fifth overall in the first of Liuzhou’s UIM F-4S race for the Eurofin Trophy. The Qatari ran in mid-field for much of a race that was won by Sweden’s Jesper Forss, although fourth-placed Matthew Palfreyman continues to lead the championship by a reduced nine points.
Qualifying – Monday
Three of the 19 starters would be eliminated from the first qualifying session (Q1).
Torrente started well and all but confirmed his place in Q2 with a flying early lap of 45.77 seconds to slip in front of Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi. Carella’s early lap of 47.31 seconds gave him a time that was sufficient to reach Q2 before the session was yellow-flagged. Rinaldo Osculati, Brett Stuart and Ivan Brigada failed to make Q2.
Carella and Torrente recorded laps of 46.20 seconds and 46.90 seconds at the start of Q2 to book their places in the upper reaches of the all-important top 10 necessary to reach Q3. Selio hit the front with a time of 45.47 seconds, as Torrente and Carella ay in third and fourth places. The defending World Champion returned to the water again and moved up to third with a time of 45.62 seconds to confirm his place in Q3.
Phillipe Tourre, Filip Roms, Valerio Lagianella, rookie Bimba Sjoholm, Duarte Benavente and Stanislav Kurtsenovsky were eliminated and failed to reach Q3.
Each driver was permitted two laps to claim a pole position time in Q3. Francesco Cantando went first and set a target time of 45.81 seconds, but Norway’s Marit Stromoy managed to squeeze inside with a lap of 45.79 seconds on her first lap. Majed Al-Mansoori was unable to get inside the Norwegian’s time and Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan was next up and he went quickest with a lap of 45.73 seconds.
Sweden’s Jonas Andersson was not able to get inside the Kuwaiti’s time, as Torrente took to the water for his vital two laps. His first was clocked at 45.58 seconds and was sufficient to snatch provisional pole. But the Qatar driver’s joy was short-lived and Al-Qamzi went even quicker with a lap of 44.85 seconds on his second lap.
Carella knew that he needed to break the 45-second barrier to have any chance and the World Champion began with a 44.87 second lap to move into second place and stormed into pole position with a second tour of 44.68 seconds.
Only Phillipe Chiappe and Sami Selio stood in the way of a Qatar pole position. The Frenchman’s first lap was sufficient to push him into third place at the expense of Torrente and he confirmed third place with a second lap of 45.40 seconds. Selio stormed into second with a first lap of 44.71 seconds and was unable to improve on his second lap, as the Qatar Team confirmed first and fifth places.
The Qatar Team was completely dominant in the morning’s free practice session, with Torrente and Carella topping the lap tmes and both managing to break the 46-second barrier. Torrente clocked the quickest tour of the Liu River course with a time of 45.75 seconds and Carella was a mere 0.2 seconds adrift. Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan was third.
F-4S Eurofin Trophy – race one
Matthew Palfeyman set the pace in opening practice for the F-4S race, the Briton clocking a quickest time of 48.22 seconds during his six laps on the water. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari ran for 12 laps for the Qatar Team and slotted into third place behind Palfreyman and Jesper Forss.
Palfreyman made the best of starts for the race and headed Forss and Thomas Munthe-Kaas through the opening laps, with Al-Kuwari holding fifth position. Forss managed to pass Palfreyman on the eighth lap and began to edge clear of his championship rival, as Al-Kuwari maintained fifth.
Forss kept his lead heading into the closing few laps, but Palfreyman slipped down the running order to fourth behind Munthe-Kaas and Viktor Vo, as Al-Kuwari maintained fifth place. Forss eventually won the race by an impressive 27.28 seconds.
Tuesday’s (October 2nd) action starts with further free practice and time trials for the F-4S entrants and F1 free practice from 10.15hrs. The second of the F4S races begins at 11.30hrs and the F1 H20 Grand Prix of China gets underway at 15.05hrs (10.05hrs Doha time).
Grand Prix of China – qualifying results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 44.68s
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team 44.71s
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 44.85s
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 45.40s
5. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 45.58s
6. Yousef Al-Rabayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team 45.73s
7. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 45.79s
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 45.81s
9. Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 46.44s
10. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 46.56s
2012 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – standings after round 4
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 62 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 47 pts
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 42 pts
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
5. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 30 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 28 pts
7. Yousef Al-Rabayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team 21 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 10 pts
2012 F-4S Drivers Eurofin Trophy – standings after race 7
1. Matthew Palfreyman (GBR) Atlantic Team 124 pts
2. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 115 pts
3. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) Team Nautica 75 pts
4. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) CTIC China Team 52 pts
5. Kornel Vo (HUN) Team Mad Croc 30 pts
6. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 28 pts
7. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 25 pts
8. Viktor Vo (HUN) Team Mad Croc 22 pts
9. Rashed Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
10. Valts Silis (LAT) Team Singha 13 pts
11. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Team Singha 11 pts
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www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).