Powerboating
Rashid Al Qemzi had been in an unstoppable form this action. Image Credit: Team Abu Dhabi

Dubai: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi further strengthened his grip on a second world title with a dominant win at the Grand Prix of Italy late on Sunday.

Crowned world champion in 2017, Al Qemzi is chasing his second crown, with 55 points from three races making him the hottest contender so far this season.

Ferdinand Zandbergen from the Netherlands is his closest challenger with 25 points, while Portuguese Duarte Benavente is third with 23.

There are another three drivers in the running, led by Sweden’s Ola Pettersson (22), along with Stefan Hagin (20) and Daniel Segenmark (20).

In Sunday’s third round of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship, Al Qemzi led from pole to cap a second win of the season followed by Pettersson nearly four seconds off the pace, while Bimba Sjoholm came in third to complete the podium spots.

Al Qemzi — who had maintained his 100 per cent qualifying record with a third successive pole position this season — simply took off from the start chased by a host of drivers including Pettersson, Sjoholm, Tobias Munthe-Kaas and Benavente. But the Team Abu Dhabi youngster had the most reliable set-up on the day to carve out a second win in three races.

After pole positions in Lithuania and Norway, the Team Abu Dhabi driver took his DAC boat into the top spot and a handy points cushion heading into the Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro — the penultimate round of the 2019 F2 World Championship in the middle of next month.

The Victory Team showed a marked improvement, with Mansour Al Mansouri and Ahmad Al Fahim displaying some progress in their boats.

Al Mansouri ended sixth in the repechage race earlier on Sunday afternoon, while Al Fahim came up with a gallant effort to finish just outside the points in eleventh place at the city of Brindisi on the Adriatic coast of Southern Italy.

Next on the calendar is the Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro from September 13-15, followed by the fifth and final round in Abu Dhabi from December 5-7.