Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Qamzi
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Qamzi will launch his bid to reclaim the UIM F2 World Championship title this weekend in Lithuania. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE will once again launch a two-team assault on the world crown when the 2019 UIM F2 World Powerboat Championship gets under way in Kaunas, Lithuania, next weekend.

As many as 29 drivers have registered for the championships this season with Team Abu Dhabi and Victory Team from Dubai among the contenders for the title. The Victory Team pairing of Alex Carella and Mansour Al Mansouri is prepared to launch a winning start to their campaign, while Team Abu Dhabi will have Rashid Al Qamzi and Rashid Al Tayer on their start list when action gets under way in Kaunas from June 28-30.

Carella has once again been drafted in to boost the Victory Team’s chances for a world crown alongside Al Mansouri after the four-time F1 world champion from Italy stole a fourth place and nine points at the fourth and final Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro at the end of the season last year.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Al Qamzi, on the other hand, will launch his bid to reclaim the F2 title at the same venue where he made a breakthrough in international powerboat racing two years ago. It was on the Kaunas Reservoir in 2017 that Al Qamzi followed up a brilliant pole position with victory in the Lithuanian Grand Prix on his F2 debut, a result which laid the foundations for his championship triumph.

Al Qamzi will be joined again in this season’s opening round by Al Tayer, less than two months after the two Emiratis had combined with Shaun Torrente and Tullio Abbate to give Team Abu Dhabi a World Endurance Championship victory in the 24 Hours of Rouen in France.

Last season, Italy’s Alberto Comparato — now competing in the F1 class — won his first F2 crown with 47 points, leaving Team Abu Dhabi’s Al Qamzi (29) in second, while Lithuanian Edgaras Riabko (27) finished third.

This week’s action will begin with a free practice session at 11 noon UAE time on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix that will get under way at 4pm UAE time.