Dubai: Teams representing the UAE will be out to consolidate their positions heading into the Grand Prix of Norway — Round Two of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship in Tonsberg this weekend.
Leading the Team Abu Dhabi challenge will be Rashid Al Qamzi, winner of the opening round at the Grand Prix of Lithuania in June, along with teammate Rashid Al Tayer.
Al Qamzi will be prepared for another mighty tussle in Norway as he bids to stay on course for a second world crown. Aiming to recapture the UIM F2 World Championship title that he claimed in 2017, Al Qamzi currently leads the 2019 series following his dramatic opening-round win last month.
Since then, the Emirati driver has celebrated success as a member of the four-man Team Abu Dhabi crew that clinched the World Endurance Championships in Poland. After dominating F2 qualifying in Kaunas, Al Qamzi was awarded his second win in three years when Norwegian Tobias Munthe-Kaas collected a one-lap penalty for a race buoy infringement despite finishing ahead of the Emirati driver.
At the forefront for the Victory Team will be the duo of Mansour Al Mansouri and Ahmad Al Fahim, who have both promised to raise their game heading into the Tonsberg race from August 2-4. In Lithuania, Al Mansouri stayed competitive and ended 17th in the main race on the Kaunas Lagoon, while Al Fahim had a debut to forget with mechanical issues and a crash.
“We started practising last week. We don’t have a ready boat here, but we still needed to practice and get some of the self-confidence back a bit,” Al Fahim said.
“I need to get into my boat and see how things stand heading into the second round. That’s the reason I am leaving for Norway on Thursday to get a feel of my boat. I hope I can do well.”
In Tonsberg, the opening day on Friday will witness the Match Race warm-up session from 5.30pm to 6pm (UAE time) followed by the opening ceremony and Speed Run F2 for the top 16 boats from 8pm UAE onwards.
Saturday’s free practice in two separate groups will be followed by the Baume & Mercier Pole Position run starting from 7pm (UAE time). The boats will be divided into three groups with the best qualifying for the shoot-out for Pole Position among the top 10 boats.
On Sunday, there will be two separate warm-up sessions for the main drivers and the pre-qualified drivers during the first part of the day. The repechage race will be held from 3.30pm (UAE time) over 20 laps to decide the best three drivers making it to the main race. The Grand Prix of Norway will see the best 18 boats take to the water at 6.30pm UAE.