United Kingdom, London 18th June 2018: Victory Team drivers Alex Carella and Ahmed Al Hameli secured a fourth-place finish for the Dubai-based squad in the Grand Prix of London, round 2 of the UIM F1H2O World Championship.
It was a pulsating race, in which Sweden’s Erik Stark delivered a stellar performance to take a second career win after an action-packed contest punctuated by two prolonged yellow flag periods and restarts, the first when championship leader Shaun Torrente speared and destroyed a turn buoy forcing him to retire on lap 11, the second when defending world champion Alex Carella barrel-rolled out of the race in spectacular fashion on lap 36 of 54.
Philippe Chiappe and Peter Morin made it a double celebration for the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team finishing second and third after enjoying a race long inter-team battle.
Race officials opted to get the race underway with an unfamiliar rolling start instead of the usual dead-engine start at the dock, with Stark leading the 16 boats around the 1.72km three-pin circuit under a yellow caution flag for a couple of laps before the green flag was given to release them to race.
Although Carella was forced to make a premature exit, his teammate Ahmed Al Hameli had an uneventful race, finishing in eighth place ahead of Cedric Deguisne.
The 54-lap race, run on London’s Royal Victoria Dock for the first time in 33 years, took its toll with six of the 17 starters failing to go the distance and retiring.
There was better news for Victory Team in the F4-S Trophy, with Ahmad Al Fahim finishing on the podium after another dramatic race. Blaze Performance driver Max Stilz grabbed his second win of the weekend in his Blaze hull, finishing 2.45sec ahead of Xavier Sam Whittle and 5.86sec clear of Al Fahim in third.
The boats were held under yellow flag and given the green to race on lap 4, with Blaze’s German driver running second to Xavier Autard for three laps when the Maverick F1 driver hooked, dropping to and finishing in fourth place to secure the overall runners-up slot.
Al Fahim’s strong result in the Grand Prix of London has moved him up to sixth place in the F4-S championship standings with 26 points.
Round 3 of the UIM F1H2O World Championship, the Grand Prix of France, takes place in Evian in a fortnight (from June 29 to July 1).