|Qatar’s Alex Carella Snatches F1 H20 World Championship Lead With Victory In Liuzhou|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012 23:51|
LIUZHOU (China): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella claimed a convincing victory from pole position in Tuesday’s 18th Grand Prix of China on Liuzhou’s Liu River in south-eastern China.
In a race where the yellow flag was raised on two occasions, Carella led from the start to the chequered flag to snatch a nine-point lead in the UIM F1 H20 World Championship, as he bids to retain the world title. Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi finished second overall and Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe was third.
Shaun Torrente was holding fourth overall when the race was yellow-flagged after an incident involving Bimba Sjoholm’s boat. But the Qatar Team driver was also sidelined as soon as the race restarted, when he clipped the back of Sami Selio’s boat, flipped his boat and the incident sidelined both drivers.
“It was a bad deal,” said Torrente. “I am fine but it was a racing accident. We had plenty of speed. Sometimes you have to take risks to achieve the goals.”
“I am really happy with the first place. This was a fantastic result for Alex and it is great that we are leading the championship heading to the next race in Abu Dhabi,” said 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.
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari started race two in the F-4S Eurofin Trophy from seventh position and finished in a similar place. Sweden’s Jesper Forss won the contest to snatch the outright lead in the championship from England’s Matthew Palfreyman by just two points. Al-Kuwari holds equal fifth place.
18th Grand Prix of China
Carella started the race from pole position after an initial decision to push the Qatar driver down to third place for a driving violation was overturned when the Qatar team protested the officials’ decision on Monday evening. Torrente slotted into fifth behind his team-mate, Sami Selio, Thani Al-Qamzi and Phillipe Chiappe.
Nineteen drivers from 13 countries took the start and Phillipe Tourre jumped the start of the 38-lap race on the two-kilometre course. Carella made a superb start and maintained his lead from Selio and Al-Qamzi. Torrente climbed to fourth on the second lap and Carella extended his lead to 4.08 seconds after four laps.
The gap was reduced to 3.21 seconds after eight laps, as Selio, Al-Qamzi, Torrente and Al-Rubayan rounded off the top five. Bimba Sjoholm rolled her boat out on the ninth lap on her F1 racing debut and forced a yellow flag situation, which bunched the pack up again.
The race restarted on lap 12 and Torrente dramatically clipped the back end of Selio’s boat heading into a turn almost immediately and sidelined both drivers on the spot.
The race resumed on lap 18 and Carella managed to hold off a fierce challenge from Al-Qamzi to maintain the lead. He was 2.11 seconds in front of Al-Qamzi through lap 22 and extended his lead to 4.35 seconds after lap 26. The lead was 3.93 seconds after 30 laps and the World Champion held on to seal a stunning start-to-finish victory and take the lead in the 2012 UIM F1 H20 World Championship.
Qatar’s Shaun Torrente set the pace in Tuesday morning’s free practice session. The American ran for 21 laps and set a quickest time of 45.61s to steal a march on Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe. Carella only managed five laps on the water and was down in fifth position.
F-4S Eurofin Trophy – race two
England’s Matthew Palfreyman qualified in pole position for the second of the Liuzhou F-4S races, with race one winner Jesper Forss shadowing him in second position. Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari ran for 20 laps in the qualifying session and was classified in seventh place for the start of the race.
Forss emerged victorious for the second time in two days in race two, the Swede winning the contest by 27.86 seconds from China’s Xiong Ziwei. Qatar’s Al-Kuwari started from seventh place and finished in a similar position. Norway’s Jan Andre Landsner retired on lap eight.
Grand Prix of China – race results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 38 laps
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi @ 6.86s
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team @ 14.14s
4. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team @ 30.96s
5. Yousef Al-Rabayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team @ 33.60s
6. Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 1 lap
7. Stanislav Kourtsenovsky (RUS) CTIC China Team 1 lap
8. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team 1 lap
9. Valerio Lagiannella (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 1 lap
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 3 laps
2012 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – standings after round 4
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 59 pts
2. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 50 pts
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 48 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 41 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 25 pts
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 21 pts
7. Stanislav Kourtsenovsky (RUS) CTIC China Team 11 pts
7. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team 11 pts
9. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 10 pts
9. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 10 pts, etc
2012 F-4S Drivers Eurofin Trophy – standings after race 8
1. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 135 pts
2. Matthew Palfreyman (GBR) Atlantic Team 133 pts
3. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) Team Nautica 87 pts
4. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) CTIC China Team 67 pts
5. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 32 pts
5. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
7. Kornel Vo (HUN) Team Mad Croc 30 pts
8. Viktor Vo (HUN) Team Mad Croc 27 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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