Dubai: Drivers and teams from the UAE are very much in the mix at the half-way stage of the 2017 UIM F1 World Championship that moves next to China’s forest city of Liuzhou.
Team Sweden’s former four-time F2 world champion Erik Stark led from pole to clinch the third round at the Grand Prix of Harbin last Sunday. The 29-year-old Stockholm driver registered his first-ever win after 22 F1 career grand prix starts finishing 9.31 seconds ahead of the three chasing boats from the UAE — Thani Al Qamzi from Team Abu Dhabi, Ahmad Al Hameli from Victory Team and Alex Carella from Team Abu Dhabi. Three-time world defending champion Philippe Chiappe ended outside a podium finish for the first time after a long time as he came in fifth followed by Stark’s teammate Jonas Andersson.
The 20 points earned from Harbin now keeps Stark in tied third with 27 points alongside three-time defending world champion Chiappe from the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team. But it is Team Abu Dhabi’s Carella who is at the top of the drivers’ standings with 38 points, chased down by Mad Croc Baba Racing’s Selio and Chiappe and Stark in joint third with 27 points each.
“I had my chances of possible overtaking during the race, but I didn’t want to take any risks as I was looking long-term towards the rest of the season. My main aim was to get the points and these will come in handy at the end of the year,” Carella told media after Sunday’s race.
“My philosophy is that the next race is as important as this one. With that aim in mind we want to just go out there every race and get the points. It is a good feeling to see the progress made by me personally and by the team. We will keep up the pressure and get in the points,” the Italian driver promised.
Team Abu Dhabi is at the top of the teams’ championship as well with Team Sweden and Dubai’s Victory Team and Team Sweden close on their heels. Team Abu Dhabi is at the top of the standings with 58 points followed by Team Sweden with 39 points and Victory Team and Mad Croc Baba Racing joint third with 33. Perhaps going through a bad patch, defending champions CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team is in fourth with 30 points followed by the F1 Atlantic Team with 18.
The action in the 2017 UIM F1 World Championship will now move on to the fourth round of the competition scheduled to be held in Liuzhou from September 29 to October 1.
Teams’ standings at the end of the Grand Prix of Harbin, the third round of the 2017 UIM F1 World Championship:
1. Team Abu Dhabi (58pts); 2. Team Sweden (39); 3. Victory Team (33); 3. Mad Croc Baba Team (33); 5. CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team (30); 6. F1 Atlantic Team (18).
Drivers’ standings at the end of the Grand Prix of Harbin, the third round of the 2017 UIM F1 World Championship:
1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi (38pts); 2. Sami Selio (Finland) Mad Croc Baba Racing (30); 3. Erik Stark (Sweden) Team Sweden (27); 3. Philippe Chiappe (France) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team (27); 5. Ahmad Al Hameli (UAE) Victory Team (21); 6. Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi (20); 8. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team (12); 8. Jonas Andersson (Sweden) Team Sweden (12); 10. Bartek Marszalak (Poland) Blaze Performance Team (11).