LIUZHOU (China): Wednesday, October 1: The 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship resumes after a seven-month lay-off at the start of next week, when the world’s leading mono hull racers descend upon Liuzhou and the Liu River to tackle the Grand Prix of China. Time trials and official practice will take place on Sunday, October 5th and the race is scheduled for Monday, October 6th.
Team Abu Dhabi missed the opening round of the championship in Qatar in mid March and, therefore, arrives in China with a clean slate, no championship points and with it all to do if team drivers Ahmed Al-Hameli and Thani Al-Qamzi are going to secure the UIM F1 H2O World Championship title over the remaining four races in China, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Team Abu Dhabi has an excellent record in China and particularly in Liuzhou. Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli reached the chequered flag in first and second positions in 2011 and Al-Qamzi was second to Jay Price in 2010, runner-up to current series leader and defending World Champion Alex Carella in 2012 and fourth last season.
“It’s been frustrating to have such a large gap in the calendar and no opportunity for F1 racing until now,” said Al-Qamzi. “But the team is focused and we have prepared thoroughly for this race. Both Ahmed and myself are excited to get our campaign underway and we are confident that we can achieve a top result in China and set us up nicely for a good run into the end of the season.”
Carella’s victory in Qatar in the absence of Team Abu Dhabi means that the Italian takes a five-point advantage over Frenchman Philippe Chiappe to the Liu River course. Portugal’s Duarte Benavente holds third place and Italian Francesco Cantando is fourth.
Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
The two days of racing action will also feature a pair of races for the UIM F-4S Championship for the Eurofin Trophy. The absence of Team Abu Dhabi from the solitary Qatar race means that Team Sweden’s Jesper Forss heads to China with a five-point advantage over Germany’s Mike Szymura. Rashid Al-Remeithi and Mohamed Al-Mehairbi will represent Team Abu Dhabi in Liuzhou.
Sunday’s hectic timetable begins with free practice and time trials for the F-4S runners and precedes F1 practice and the first of the F-4S races at 13.30hrs (local time). F1 qualifying takes centre stage from 15.00hrs.
Monday follows a similar format of practice, time trials and a second F-4S race, before the Grand Prix of China is flagged off from 15.10hrs.
2014 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – positions after round 1:
- Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 20 pts
- Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 15 pts
- Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 12 pts
- Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team 9 pts
- Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 7 pts
- Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 5 pts
- Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team 4 pts
- Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team 3 pts
2014 F-4S Eurofin Trophy – positions after round 1:
- Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 20 pts
- Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 15 pts
- Nikita Lijcs (LVA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 12 pts
- Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 9 pts
- Morgan Jernfast (SWE) Team Nautica 7 pts
- Mohammed Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 5 pts
- Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team 0 pts
- Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC Team 0 pts