Dubai: Reigning world champions Team Abu Dhabi will lead the UAE charge along with Dubai’s Victory Team at the Grand Prix of France — Round Three of the 2019 UIM F1H2O World Powerboat Championship in Evian, France, this weekend.
Team Abu Dhabi’s world champion Shaun Torrente and Thani Al Qamzi will be eager to tighten their grip on the traditionally unpredictable waters of Lac Leman to follow up on their closely fought one-two success at the Grand Prix of Portugal in Portimao in the second half of May.
While the host nation has never produced a French Grand Prix winner, Team Abu Dhabi have every reason to approach the event with confidence. They filled the podium in France last year, with Erik Stark winning from Al Qamzi and eventual world F1 champion Torrente.
And while the Team Abu Dhabi duo will be aiming at extending manager Guido Cappellini’s impressive history of Grand Prix successes in France, the Victory Team pair of former four-time world champion Alex Carella and Ahmad Al Hameli will be seeking podium spots to keep alive their chances for a maiden world crown. “We’ve made no changes since Portugal,” said Team Abu Dhabi’s manager Cappellini, a former ten-time world champion.
“We’re focusing on getting everything right from our point of view. We want to make sure Shaun and Thani go into the weekend in the right frame of mind to beat all opposition,” the Italian added.
For the Victory Team, Carella has struggled with his set-up yet again after returning to the pits midway through the race in Portimao, while teammate Al Hameli held on grimly for seventh place and four points to open the Victory Team account for 2019. “We’ve put in the hours doing further testing, and this gives us confidence that we can deliver in Evian,” Carella said.
Torrente and Al Qamzi will both be chasing their ninth Grand Prix victory in Evian where the boats take to Lac Leman for free practice at 12.15pm UAE on Saturday before afternoon qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix that is scheduled to get under way at 5pm UAE.