Liuzhou, China, September 28 (QNA) – The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente and members of the Qatar Team s F1 H20 team are in China this weekend preparing for Tuesday s 18th Grand Prix of China on Liuzhou s Liu River in south-eastern China.
The fourth round of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship has been switched to a Monday and Tuesday for the first time and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed team is leaving nothing to chance for the critical race that will go a long way in determining the outcome of this year’s championship.
Carella is the defending World Champion and heads to China lying third in the Drivers’ Championship, a mere two points behind second-placed Finn Sami Selio and 11 points behind Team Abu Dhabi s Ahmed Al-Hameli.
But, with the shock news that Al-Hameli has been forced to miss the China race through illness, Carella knows that he must capitalise on the Emirati s absence and close the gap in the championship. Torrente, meanwhile, has been the form driver in recent races, but a cruel mechanical failure cost him a near-certain victory at the last race in Ukraine and he is due a few days of better luck.
“The news about Ahmed missing the race does not change our strategy at all,” confirmed Khaliid bin Arhama AL-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the QMSF, which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“We were ahead of the championship leader at the last two races in any case, but Shaun had no luck at all, so the strategy is to keep ahead of everyone. I believe in Shaun s ability and I am sure that he and Alex will do well in China.
“For Alex, he will need to do the same as he did in Kazan. He needs to claim the pole position and win the race. We have not tested since the last race in Kiev, but we have a good record in Liuzhou and I hope we have luck on our side this time and we can confirm a one-two finish on Tuesday.”
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari will represent the Qatar Team in the two UIM F-4S races that precede F1 qualifying and the Grand Prix of China on Monday and Tuesday. The Qatari currently holds equal sixth position in the competitive feeder formula for the F1 H20 series and is keen to improve on his position next week.
England s Matthew Palfreyman has been the form driver this year so far in the F-4S category and currently has a 20-point lead over Team Sweden s Jesper Forss in the 12-race championship.
The on-course action – at the fifth Liuzhou race since the venue entered the series in 2008 – begins on Monday morning at 09.30 hrs (04.30hrs Doha time) with a free practice session and time trials for the F-4S competitors. This precedes 30 minutes of practice for the F1 boats and the first 20-minute F-4S race, which starts at 13.30hrs.
Qualifying for the F1 teams starts at 15.00hrs (10.00hrs Doha time). Carella currently leads the UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship by seven points from team-mate Torrente.
Tuesday’s (October 2nd) action starts with further free practice and time trials for the F-4S entrants and F1 free practice from 10.15hrs. The second of the F4S races begins at 11.30hrs and the F1 H20 Grand Prix of China gets underway at 15.05hrs (10.05hrs Doha time).
2012 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – standings after round 3
1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 50 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 41 pts
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 39 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 36 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
6. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 10 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 10 pts
6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 10 pts
9. Stanislav Kourtsenovsky (RUS) CTIC China Team 7 pts
10. Filip Roms (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 4 pts
10. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team 4 pts
10. Valerio Lagiannella (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 4 pt
13. Khaled Saleh Al-Shamlan (QAT) Qatar Team 2 pts
13. Phillipe Tourre (FRA) F1 Atlantic Team 2 pts
13. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 2 pts
2012 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – standings after round 3
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 42 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 35 pts
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 32 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 32 pts
5. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 21 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 16 pts
6. Yousef Al-Rabayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team 16 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 10 pts
2012 F-4S Drivers Eurofin Trophy – standings after race 6
1. Matthew Palfreyman (GBR) Atlantic Team 115 pts
2. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden 95 pts
3. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) Team Nautica 60 pts
4. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) CTIC China Team 47 pts
5. Kornel Vo (HUN) Team Mad Croc 30 pts
6. Mohamed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 21 pts
6. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 21 pts
8. Rashed Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 14 pts
9. Valts Silis (LAT) Team Singha 13 pts
10. Viktor Vo (HUN) Team Mad Croc 10 pts
11. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Team Singha 8 pts