Emirati driver underlines F2 dominance in Portugal to become world champion with third race victory
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 16 September, 2019: Team Abu Dhabi are half way towards their target of landing four major powerboat racing titles this season following Rashed Al Qemzi’s triumph in the UIM F2 World Championship.
Al Qemzi, who clinched his second F2 crown in three years by winning yesterday’s Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro, was part of the four-man crew who secured the World Endurance Championships in Poland two months ago.
Team Abu Dhabi’s reigning UIM F1H2O world champion Shaun Torrente currently leads this year’s series and also tops the UIM XCAT World Championship standings with his title-winning partner from last season, Faleh Al Mansoori.
It means the title quartet remains a distinct possibility for Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, which hosts the final round of the F2 series on December 6-7, with the silver and bronze medals remaining in the balance.
Al Qemzi, whose third race win of the season in Portugal came from a fourth successive pole position, won by 18 seconds from home favourite Duarte Benavente after Sharjah Team’s Dutch driver Ferdinand Zandbergen dropped from second to fourth place with a one lap penalty.
The Emirati driver has dominated the championship following an opening round win in Lithuania, extending his lead with second place in Norway and following that with another victory in Italy last month.
While team-mate Rashed Al Tayer finished outside the top ten in Portugal, he will be aiming for a podium finish to the season on familiar home waters in Abu Dhabi.
Before that he will be attempting to boost his bid for this year’s UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship title in next month’s penultimate round in China.
Currently lying in second place, Al Tayer wants to close the gap on Kuwaiti leader Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq ahead of December’s final round in Sharjah.
Grand Prix of Portugal results
1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE Team Abu Dhabi 43:32:44
2. Duarte Benavente POR Atlantic Team 43:50:44
3. Ola Pettersson SWE Skåne Racing Team 44:02:41
4. Ferdinand Zandbergen NED Sharjah Team Lap Lap - 1
5. Edgaras Riabko LTU F2 Lithuania Lap -1
6. Mette Brandt Bjerknæs NOR MBR Lap -1
7. Ahmad Al Fahim UAE Victory Team Lap -1
8. Kalle Viippo FIN Kalle Viippo Racing Lap -1
9. Manoor Al Mansoori UAE Victory Team Lap -2
10. Steve Hoult GBR Team WNT Lap -2
UIM F2 World Championship leading positions after 4 of 5 rounds
1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE 75pts
2. Duarte Benavente POR 38
3. Ola Pettersson SWE 34
4. Ferdinand Zandbergen NL 34
5. Stefan Hagin GER 20
6. Daniel Segenmark SWE 20