Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi has a third UIM F2 world championship title within his grasp after recording a convincing victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal.
The 2017 and 2019 F2 champion led from start to finish to record his third career win at Ribadouro after another day of high winds led to delays and difficult conditions on the Douro river race course.
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Al Qemzi, who had set the fastest time in free practice before securing pole position, can land the world crown again with another win in next weekend’s final round at Vila Velha de Rodao.
The Emirati won the first of the two back-to-back 40-lap races making up this year’s decisive Grand Prix of Portugal by shrugging off a strong challenge from home favourite Duarte Benavente
His winning margin over Benavente was 2.336 seconds, but more significantly was the fact that he closed to within two points of championship leader Edgaras Riabko, who finished fourth on the day after winning the opening round in his native Lithuania.
With Sweden’s Bimba Sjoholm claiming the third podium position, Team Abu Dhabi’s Mansoor Al Mansoori produced an impressive display to take fifth place after starting 11th on the grid.
The shortened 2021 powerboat racing season has already seen Team Abu Dhabi clinch one major
title to date.
Al Qemzi and Al Mansoori combined with veteran driver Thani Al Qemzi to earn the team a second successive UIM World Endurance crown in July, with victory in Augustow, Poland.
It was the 12th world title delivered to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club by Italian powerboat racing legend Guido Cappellini since he took over as team manager in 2015.
1. Edgaras Riabko (LTU) 29pts
2. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) 27pts
3. Duarte Benavente (POR) 18pts
4. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) 15pts
5. Rupp Temper (AUT) 15pts
6. Colin Jelf (GBR) 13pts
7. Bimba Sjoholm (SWE) 12pts
8. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) 10pts
9. Mansoor Al Mansoori (UAE) 7pts
10. Mette Bjerknaes (GBR) 5pts