Team Abu Dhabi's Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi  Grand Prix of Sharjah

Team Abu Dhabi's Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi Grand Prix of Sharjah

16.12.2011: TEAM ABU DHABI’S AL-HAMELI AND AL-QAMZI FINISH FIRST AND SECOND IN THRILLING GRAND PRIX OF SHARJAH - Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli claim third and fourth in World Championship


- Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli claim third and fourth in World Championship

- Qatar’s Carella seals world title despite lap one collision with rival Price

Grand Prix of Sharjah – December 15-16

Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli and Thani Al-Qamzi finished a sensational first and second overall in a dramatic Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 2011 UIM F1 H20 World Championship, on Khalid Lagoon on Friday afternoon.

The race had been hyped as the showdown between the Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Jay Price for the world title. Carella led by five points going into the 37-lap race and made the better start into the first couple of turns. But the duo came together spectacularly at turn three and were both sidelined, the incident handing the world title to Carella. This enabled Team Abu Dhabi to control the race from the front of the field, with Al-Hameli eventually beating Al-Qamzi by 3.3s to confirm third and fourth in the World Championship for the Team Abu Dhabi duo.

“The plan was to win the race and spoil the Qatar party,” said a delighted Al-Hameli, who finished the season in style with two race wins and two second places from four Grand Prix. Team-mate Al-Qamzi set the fastest lap in the race to take maximum points in the Fast Lap Slam Trophy.

Salem Al-Mansoori qualified at the rear of the eight-boat field for the final UIM F-4S race of the season and finished seventh in a race where victory for Matthew Palfreyman was sufficient for the Briton to claim the F-4S title.

Team Abu Dhabi runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC and team manager Scott Gillman. The team has full support from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which runs under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al-Nahyan and the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.

Grand Prix of Sharjah

A good start for pole-sitter Al-Hameli and fifth-placed Al-Qamzi was vital with Price, Phillipe Chiappe and Carella eager to push for the advantage into the first turn buoy. But the race was yellow-flagged on the first lap when title rivals Carella and Price collided at turn three and forced each other out in dramatic circumstances. The Grand Prix resumed on lap seven, with Al-Hameli leading from Chiappe and Al-Qamzi.

Al-Qamzi managed to squeeze through to take second position and the Team Abu Dhabi began to pull away from the rest of the field. By lap 17, Al-Hameli headed Al-Qamzi by 4.90s, with Chiappe seven seconds adrift. The yellow flag was raised for a second time on lap 25 after a buoy became displaced and high-speed action resumed on lap 31.

Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi managed to maintain their first and second places, as drivers jostled for the minor places behind. Marit Stromoy was penalised for the collision with the turn buoy, but the Team Abu Dhabi duo held on to the chequered flag to seal a stunning 1-2 finish.

The Team Abu Dhabi duo had registered the seventh and 10th fastest times in the morning’s free practice session, which was won by Sweden’s Jonas Andersson with a best lap of 49.07s.


Salem Al-Mansoori qualified at the back of the field for his fourth F-4S race with Team Abu Dhabi with a fastest lap of 53.61s. Tobias Munthe-Kaas registered the pole-winning lap time and Bimba Sjoholm and Matthew Palfreyman – who would decide the outcome of the world title in the afternoon’s race – were third and fifth. Al-Mansoori had been at the back of the field in the morning’s practice as well, in a session won by Palfreyman will a lap of 46.94s.

Al-Mansoori climbed to sixth after lap one, as Palfreyman and Qatar’s Khalid Al-Shamlan moved out in front, but the Emirati came under pressure from Sjolholm after four laps and the Swede managed to sneak through on lap five. The Emirati maintained seventh through 10 laps, as Palfreyman continued to lead from Al-Shamlan.

Al-Mansoori reached the finish in seventh position to add another four points to his late season tally and Palfreyman took the chequered flag to confirm victory in the championship from Sjoholm and Al-Shamlan.

Grand Prix of Sharjah – results

1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi        37 laps
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi        @ 3.30s
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team            @ 7.75s
4. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team    @ 17.36s
5. Shaun Torrente (USA) Qatar Team            @ 19.67s
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica             @ 44.87s
7. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team        1 lap behind       
8. Rhys Coles (AUS) Team Sweden                1 lap behind

2011 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – final standings

1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team            84 pts                
2. Jay Price (QAT) Qatar Team            79 pts                 
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi    75 pts             
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi    70 pts           
5. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team        47 pts           
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 42 pts           
7. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1        21 pts
8. Davide Padovan (ITA) Team Mad Croc F1        20 pts
9. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden        18 pts
10. Pierre Lundin (SWE) CTIC China Team        16 pts


Khalid Al Saadi, also photos


16.12.2011 / MaP

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