Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini with Rashid Al Qamzi. Image Credit: Team Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Rashid Al Qamzi set the early pace for the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi in dramatic style on Thursday as the UAE capital welcomed the UIM F2 World Championship for the first time.

Al Qamzi, who clinched the UIM F2 world title at the previous round in Portugal, set the fastest time in free practice with a brilliant late burst at the end of a two-boat charge on home waters.

Having begun the session in the boat Team Abu Dhabi are testing for next year’s championship, the Emirati driver was lying third behind Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas and Portugal’s Duarte Benavente with time running out.

But after switching to the boat he will use in Friday’s qualifying session and Saturday’s Grand Prix, Al Qamzi clocked the fastest time on his penultimate lap and then improved the time again seconds before the session concluded.