Victory Team driver Alex Carella has put himself in contention for victory in the Grand Prix of London – round 2 of the UIM F1H2O World Championship – by qualifying in third position for the race. The event is being staged at the historic Royal Victoria Dock, and the 2018 race marks the fourth time that the UK capital has hosted a round of the F1H2O championship.
Sweden’s Erik Stark will start from pole position after posting a sizzling 37.71sec lap of the 1720m long course, followed France’s Philippe Chiappe, who starts from P2 after a best lap of 37.89sec.
Carella’s best was a 38.15sec tour, but that still puts him in contention for the win in Sunday’s race. Meanwhile, his Victory Team teammate Ahmed Al Hameli starts from ninth position as his best lap was disqualified for impeding another driver, dropping him out of the top six and elevating Bartek Marszalek, who went on to qualify in sixth.
Current championship leader Shaun Torrente starts from eight position, so tomorrow’s race presents Carella – currently fourth in the championship standings following the opening round in Portugal – with an opportunity to make up some of the deficit.
Victory Team chairman Huraiz Almur Mohamed Bin Huraiz is upbeat about the race and is confident of a strong showing. “We are super ready for tomorrow,” he said.
Meanwhile, polesitter Stark has expressed concerns about the race due to the tricky conditions. “You just don’t know what will happen in these conditions when you are at the maximum and the boat is flying, he said, adding “Now I hope they will opt for a rolling start tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, in the F4-S category, Victory Team pilot Ahmed Al Fahim finished in fifth position after an action-paced opening race. Blaze Performance driver Max Stilz claimed the honours, with Sam Whittle, Louise Vella and Tom Chiappe all crashing out.
Stilz took advantage at the restart after the yellow flag, moving to the front on lap 4, Autard dropping back to fourth behind Mohamed Al Mehairbi and Vella, when the young Australian turned her boat over.
The lead trio of Stilz, Al Mehairbi and Autard held point when fourth-placed Chiappe completed an eventful afternoon by crashing out on lap 24. The boats were subsequently held under yellow flag to the chequered flag, Wu Bingchen coming home in fourth ahead of Ahmed Al Fahim.