Dubai: Team Abu Dhabi added vital points as 2017 world champion Rashid Al Qamzi extended his lead at the end of the Grand Prix of Norway, the second round of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship held in Tonsberg late on Sunday.
Al Qamzi finished second behind Germany’s Stefan Hagin while teammate Rashid Al Tayer took the fifth spot and add crucial points against Team Abu Dhabi’s tally after two rounds of the five-round competition that will conclude with the Grand Prix of the UAE in Abu Dhabi in the first week of December.
Sunday’s second spot gave Al Qamzi a 14-point advantage in the race for the F2 title that he had last won in 2017. After his opening round win in Lithuania and his second successive pole position, Al Qamzi had high hopes for a better finish. But his second place in Tonsberg has at least helped him build on his lead from Sharjah Team’s Ferdinand Zandbergen, who missed out on a podium spot after finishing fourth in Norway.
Al Qamzi struggled at the start as a mechanical issue left him looking at the remaining 17 boats speed away. The young Emirati driver made a superb recovery, rapidly climbing to second behind Hagin on the first lap and if it not for American driver Brent Dillard’s crash to bring a yellow flag on Lap 14, Al Qamzi could have possibly caught up with the race leader.
The two Team Abu Dhabi boats were in line for second and third, but Al Tayer was adjudged to have not maintained his lane on the opening lap and was slapped with a one-lap penalty that dropped him into fifth place - handing out the third podium spot to Portugal’s Duarte Benavente.
Al Qamzi leads the overall standings with 35 points, followed by Sharjah Team’s Zandbergen in second with 21 and Hagin in third with 20 followed by Benavente (16) and Daniel Segenmark (15).
For the second successive race, Victory Team didn’t have anything to boast about as Mansour Al Mansouri and Ahmad Al Fahim ended at the lower end of the standings.
The third round of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship will be held in the port city of Brindisi on the Adriatic Sea in southern Italy’s Apulia region on August 24-25.