Abu Dhabi: Team Abu Dhabi took a giant step towards their target of landing four major powerboat racing titles this season following Rashid Al Qamzi’s triumph in the UIM F2 World Championship.
Al Qamzi, who clinched his second F2 crown in three years by winning Sunday’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.
A title quartet remains a distinct possibility now 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 teammate Rashid Al Tayer finished outside the top 10 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 Abdul Razzaq ahead of December’s final round in Sharjah.
UIM F2 World Championship leading positions
1. Rashid Al Qamzi (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