The Victory Team duo of Ahmed Al Hameli and four-time defending world champion Alex Carella will be among the serious challengers to the Team Abu Dhabi trio heading into this weekend’s Grand Prix of India – the fifth round of the UIM 2018 UIM F1 H2O World Championship.
Held on a 2.125km course on the Krishna River in Amaravati, the fifth round of the championships will see Al Hameli and Carella join a full field of boats trying to catch up with the three boats from Team Abu Dhabi occupying the top three positions.
After four rounds of the series, Thani Al Qamzi leads all drivers with a total of 54 points, but chased down by teammates Erik Stark with 53 and American Shaun Torrente with 52 points. Also in contention and within striking distance are the two drivers from CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team, Philippe Chiappe and Peter Morin with 34 and 30 points, respectively.
And waiting in the wings to make use of the opportunities that come their way is Victory Team’s Ahmed Al Hameli in sixth overall with 15 points while Carella is tenth overall with nine points against his name.
“We didn’t have a good start to the season and that is the one aspect that set us behind the rest of the field. But with three races to go and a maximum of 60 points on offer to the winner, we could find ourselves in a totally different position after this weekend,” related Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Victory Team.
“We have had some time after the fourth race in China to regroup and do some more testing of the new boats. Now it is time to see this hard work coming through and helping our two boats move towards the top of the standings,” he added.
Meanwhile, Victory Team’s Ahmed Al Fahim will also be looking to adding some vital points in the race for the UIM F4 Trophy. Blaze Performance’s Max Stilz is in the lead with 78 points chased down by Mohammed Al Mehairbi from Team Abu Dhabi with 74 points, Emirates Racing Team’s Tom Chiappe with 49 points and F1 Atlantic Team’s British driver Sam Whittle (43pts) and Al Fahim in fifth with 38 points.
F1 H2O boat racing is heading to India for the first time since Francesco Cantando won in Mumbai in 2004. The race will take place near Bhanavi island in the de facto capital city of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.
The race is being promoted in the metropolitan areas of Vijayawada and Guntur by the Malaxmi Group in association with Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Idea Marketing. After technical scrutineering and administration checks on Friday (November 16), teams will be permitted to carry out free practice from 15.30hrs.
Saturday’s timetable starts with F4 free practice and time trials from 10.00hrs, F1 free practice at 11.10hrs and the first of the two 20-minute F4 races from 14.30hrs. BRM Qualifying starts at 15.30hrs (14.00hrs UAE time).
Further F4 practice and time trials precede a third F1 H2O practice session on Sunday morning and the second of the F4 races, starting at 15.15hrs. The Grand Prix of India is scheduled for16.00hrs (14.30hrs UAE time).
2018 UIM F1 H2O World Championship (Standings after Round 4)
- Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 54pts
- Erik Stark (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 53pts
- Shaun Torrente (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 52pts
- Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 34pts
- Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 30pts
- Ahmad Al Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 15pts
- Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden/Team Amaravati 14pts
- Erik Edin (SWE) Team Sweden/Team Amaravati 13pts
- Marit Strømøy (NOR) Emirates Racing Team 11pts
- Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team 9pts
- Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 7pts
- Grant Trask (AUS) F1 Atlantic Team 5pts
- Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 5pts
- Bartek Marszalak (POL) Emirates Racing Team 4pts
- Francesco Cantando (ITA) Blaze F1 Team 3pts
- Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick F1 Team 3pts
2018 F4 Trophy – Positions after Race 6: 1. Max Stilz (DEU) Blaze Performance 78pts; 2. Mohammed Al Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 74pts; 3. Tom Chiappe (FRA) Emirates Racing Team 49pts; 4.Sam Whittle (GBR) F1 Atlantic Team 43pts; 5. Ahmed Al Fahim (UAE) Victory Team 38pts; 6. Wu Bingchen (CHN) CTIC F1 China Team 37pts; 7. Pedro Fortuna (PRT) Team Sweden 35pts; 8. Alexander Lindholm (FIN) Team Amaravati 29pts; 9. Xavier Autard (FRA) Maverick Racing 21pts; 10. Quentin Dailly (FRA) Maverick Racing 17pts.