Team Abu Dhabi’s dynamic trio of Thani Al-Qemzi, Erik Stark and Shaun Torrente continue their thrilling quest for glory in the UIM 2018 UIM F1H2O World Championship at this weekend’s Grand Prix of India on a 2.125km course on the Krishna River in Amaravati.
The team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) has taken the series by storm this season and Al-Qemzi arrives in India fresh from a test session in Abu Dhabi and set to defend a single point lead over Stark and a two-point lead over Torrente. The three drivers have secured two successive 1-2-3 race finishes and moved well clear of their closest title challenger – three-time World Champion Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team.
Forty-year-old Al-Qemzi, Stark and Torrente have also given Team Abu Dhabi a commanding lead in the UIM Teams’ Championship and Stark leads the Pole Position series by 13 points from Chiappe.
Torrente said: “We tested for a few days in Abu Dhabi before making our way to India for the race. This race is about the team. We need to prepare well, all of us, so that we all have chance to win. Whoever wins, wins. That’s okay. The feeling in the team is great and we are just looking forward to the race in India and continuing this amazing season.”
F1 H2O boat racing is heading to India for the first time since Francesco Cantando won in Mumbai in 2004. The race will take place near Bhanavi island in the de facto capital city of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.
The race is being promoted in the metropolitan areas of Vijayawada and Guntur by the Malaxmi Group in association with Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Idea Marketing. Amaravati (meaning ‘place of immortals’) is the name of the futuristic city that has been established under a name derived from the historical Amaravathi temple town, the ancient capital of the Telugu rulers of the Satavahana dynasty.
The Krishna River will host the new course. It takes its name from Lord Krishna and is one of the longest in India, running through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
After technical scrutineering and administration checks on Friday (November 16), teams will be permitted to carry out free practice from 15.30hrs.
Saturday’s timetable starts with F4 free practice and time trials from 10.00hrs, F1 free practice at 11.10hrs and the first of the two 20-minute F4 races from 14.30hrs. BRM Qualifying starts at 15.30hrs (14.00hrs UAE time).
Further F4 practice and time trials precede a third F1 H2O practice session on Sunday morning and the second of the F4 races, starting at 15.15hrs. The Grand Prix of India is scheduled for 16.00hrs (14.30hrs UAE time).
2018 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – standings after round 4:
1. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 54pts
2. Erik Stark (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 53pts
3. Shaun Torrente (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 52pts
4. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 34pts
5. Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 30pts
6. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 15pts
7. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden/Team Amaravati 14pts
8. Erik Edin (SWE) Team Sweden/Team Amaravati 13pts
9. Marit Strømøy (NOR) Emirates Racing Team 11pts
10. Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team 9pts
2018 UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship – standings after round 4:
1. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Abu Dhabi 55pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 42pts
3. Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi 40pts
4. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 36pts
5. Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team 24pts
6. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 16pts
7. Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 14pts
8. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Amaravati 12pts
Bartek Marszalak (POL) Emirates Racing Team 12pts
10. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Blaze F1 Team 9pts