EVIAN-LES-BAINS 28 June 2017: Team Abu Dhabi hopes to bounce back from Portuguese disappointment when Alex Carella and Thani and Rashed Al Qemzi tackle the 21st Grand Prix of France, round two of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, at Evian-les-Bains in France on Sunday.
A series of surprised engine issues wrecked the team out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club’s, ADIMSC, chances of winning the opening storm-affected round on the Arada River in southern Portugal and a hard-earned fourth place for Carella was scant reward for pre-season preparations and a dedicated all-round team effort, said Wam.
Team Abu Dhabi will be hoping that those engine issues are firmly ensconced in history when the trio bid to chase down defending World Champion and Portugal race winner Philippe Chiappe on Lac Leman. Chiappe began his defence with a maximum 20-point haul, Carella trails by 11 points and follows Sami Selio and Duarte Benavente in pursuit of the Frenchman.
Team Abu Dhabi has been concentrating on F2 racing since the Portuguese F1 opener and impressive lap times in an endurance race in Rouen were followed by a stunning opening F2 race win for Rashed Al-Qemzi in Lithuania. Crews also carried out a small test session last week.
Twenty boats are expected to challenge for honours in Evian, a venue where Carella was victorious in 2016 from Finland’s Filip Roms and Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente.
“It’s been over two and a half months since the last round of the championship in Portugal and that has given everyone in the team a chance to reflect and make sure that we get things right in France,” said Salem Al-Remeithi, General Manager of ADIMSC.
“It was a disappointing start, but these things can happen in racing and now we want to bounce back with a victory. Rashed is confident after his F2 success in Lithuania and Alex and Thani have the experience and the speed to achieve a top result,” he added.
Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and runs under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Adviser to the UAE President and Chairman of the board of directors of the ADIMSC, and under the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC.
The racing team runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC and board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi and team manager Guido Cappellini.
By Rajive Singh