Dubai: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Qamzi will start from pole position at Sunday’s Lithuania Grand Prix — Round One of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship — in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Crowned world champion two years ago, the Team Abu Dhabi driver displayed the same form that saw him dominate the field of 26 drivers even as teammate Rashid Al Tayer fell by the wayside during the first session of qualifying.
“I simply felt very good inside the boat and inside myself,” Al Qamzi said after timing 46.41 seconds in the third and final shoot-out session of the top ten boats late on Saturday.
“I am happy that I am able to do my best for my team, and the goal going into this session was to come here and take the pole position with a sub-46 seconds timing.”
The Emirati, whose race victory on the Kaunas Reservoir two years ago on his F2 debut laid the foundations for his title triumph, set a superb best lap time of 46.41 secs to easily top his group’s qualifying times by 1.62 secs from Latvia’s Uvis Slakteris.
Runner-up in last year’s championship, Al Qamzi topped the first group qualifying session to underline his determination to bring home the F2 title.
Al Qamzi was so dominant that he was able to sit out more than half of the qualifying session, and the quality of his performance was highlighted when Germany’s Stefan Hagin was 1.6 secs slower while heading the second qualifying group.
The UAE’s other entry from the Victory Team was not as fast as Mansour Al Mansouri managed to make it through to the second session of qualifying before failing to finish within the top-10 and make it to the shoot-out session. Victory’s second entry Ahmad Al Fahim fared well in his F2 debut before ending with a best lap of 48.88 secs and end in eighth.