Thani Al Qemzi aims for first F1H2O crown as multiple world champions chase glory in Portugal and UAE
Abu Dhabi: Team Abu Dhabi are targeting three world powerboat racing titles in a frenetic spell of seven Grand Prix races across 16 days starting in Portugal at the weekend.
The dramatic conclusion to a shortened 2021 season first sees Thani Al Qemzi and Shaun Torrente heading into a double-header to decide the 2021 UIM F1H2O World Championship in the Portuguese resort of Figueira da Foz.
With Al Qemzi leading the standings from team-mate and defending champion Torrente, Team Abu Dhabi are targeting a fourth consecutive world team title and a third drivers’ triumph in a row.
Immediately following Sunday’s second of the two races in the space of 48 hours at the Grand Prix of Portugal, Torrente will head back to the UAE to partner Faleh Al Mansoori as the duo bid to recapture the UIM XCAT World Championship crown.
The 2018 champions face three Grand Prix races in four days at the Grand Prix of Fujairah starting on 1 December, followed by two more at the Grand Prix of Dubai on 10 and 11 December.
“It’s an extremely hectic schedule, but we see it as an exciting challenge and everyone is prepared for what lies ahead,” said Salem Al Remeithi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
With Rashed Al Qemzi’s third F2 title and a second successive world endurance championship already tucked away at ADIMSC, the Team Abu Dhabi target is to go one better than the quadruple success achieved in 2019.
No success would be more warmly celebrated than a first F1H2O individual triumph for veteran Emirati driver Thani Al Qemzi – cousin of Rashed – 21 years after he made his debut in the series.
Thani gave Team Abu Dhabi a perfect start to this year’s limited championship, with victory in a dramatic Grand Prix of Europe in Italy, edging Torrente into second place.
The team has been preparing for the Grand Prix of Portugal in San Nazzaro Italy under the guidance of team manager and ten-time F1H2O champion, Guido Cappellini.
Al Qemzi finished championship runner up to Cappellini in 2009, and the Italian powerboat racing legend is counting on the camaraderie between the Emirati and his American colleague to produce the best team result in Portugal.
F1H2O World Championship standings:
1. Thani Al Qemzi Team Abu Dhabi 20 pts
2. Shaun Torrente Team Abu Dhabi 15 pts
3. Sami Selio Sharjah Team 12 pts
4. Peter Morin China Chic Team 9 pts
5. Bartek Marszalek Stromoj Racing 7 pts
6. Alexandre Bourgeot Maverick Racing 5 pts
7. Cedric Deguisne Maverick Racing 4 pts
8. Simone Bianca Schuft Blaze Performance 3 pts