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Team Abu Dhabi ready for big test in Vietnam  as Stark eyes lead in title race

Team Abu Dhabi ready for big test in Vietnam as Stark eyes lead in title race

Saturday, March 30, 2024/ Editor -  

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Veteran Al Qemzi aims to lead recovery by multiple world champions as Victory and Sharjah drivers battle for top spot

Quy Nhơn,Vietnam, 30th March, 2024: Team Abu Dhabi are primed for a big test in the Grand Prix of Bình Định-Vietnam tomorrow as Victory Team’s Erik Stark battles Sharjah Team’s Rusty Wyatt for the lead in the 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship.

Veteran Emirati driver Thani Al Qemzi has seen it all during a 23-year race career and will be calling on all his vast experience as he looks to lead a recovery by the multiple world team champions on his 154th Grand Prix start.

After qualifying tenth yesterday for Vietnam’s new addition to the F1H2O series, Al Qemzi climbed one place to fourth in this morning’s second of two sprint races.

Replacing Italian Alberto Comparato who is being rested following his crash in qualifying, four-time world F2 champion Rashed Al Qemzi picked up two places to finish seventh in the Team Abu Dhabi spare boat.

Earlier, Stark edged out Wyatt in the first sprint race, and the Swede will be looking to capitalise fully on his pole position tomorrow to overhaul the Canadian, who now leads him by three points following his first-round victory in Indonesia.

These are early days in the championship picture, and no-one knows better than two-time runner-up Thani Al Qemzi how quickly fortunes can change in powerboat racing’s elite race series.

With ten Grand Prix career wins and 45 podium finishes behind him, he will be looking for a characteristically fast start tomorrow to gain places and points on the tight Thi Nai Bay circuit.

Cousin Rashed, meanwhile, took no time to readjust to the extra demands of F1H2O racing today as he produced an impressive drive to set the fourth fastest time in the morning free practice session.

While his main target this season will be to secure a fifth F2 world driver’s title, Al Qemzi has the ability and confidence to make his mark in the top flight.

Although he starts from the back of the field tomorrow, team manager Gudio Cappellini will be expecting a strong showing from the Emirati driver.

Reigning world champion Jonas Andersson, who had a comfortable win in today’s second sprint race from team-mate Stefan Arand, will look to boost his hopes of a successful title defence by turning the pressure on Stark when he starts alongside him on the pontoon.


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