Carella Moves to Top of Championship with Win in Abu Dhabi

UIM F1 H2O World Championship UIM F1 H2O World Championship

Italian Alex Carella of the Qatar Team held off rival Ahmed Al Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi and teammate Jay Price to move into first overall in the UIM F1 H2O World Championship drivers standings going into the final race of the 2011 season next Friday in the United Arab Emirates city of Sharjah.

 

The 26 year-old driver from Piacenza rocketed into first place from pole position and never looked back winning by 3.25 seconds and with the victory now is holding down 84 points in the championship to Price's 79 who picked up 12 points finishing third on the afternoon.

 

"We had a perfect day today," said Alex. "Everything went well with the only excitement coming with four laps to be run and getting crossed up with slower traffic giving Ahmed a shot at taking a real at run at me. Now, we have to make no mistakes next weekend and see if we can win a world title before the sun sets on Friday."

 

While Alex held off Al Hameli for first, the battle for third and the final place on the podium was just as exciting with Norway's Marit Stromoy of Team Nautica, who had qualified second before being passed by Al Hameli, was headed for her first career podium until her engine let go with just three laps from the end giving Price the final step on "the box".

 

"I can't believe our luck today," stated Marit. "We were doing everything right and then the engine went "bang" and that was it, our day was over. I gained a point in the championship for finishing 10th but I don't feel great about it. Maybe next weekend we can finally reach our goal this season, a win or a podium."

 

For Jay Price, he was disappointed with his third place result but was happy with the team getting both drivers on the podium. "It will be another uphill climb for me next weekend to win my second title, but we are going to give it our all and Sharjah is one of those places where the "weird" happens and you really never know what will develop until the final lap."

 

Finishing fourth was Swedish driver Pierre Lundin who came up from his 10th qualifying position for his best result of the season and his third straight top ten finish for the CTIC China Team for a great effort.

 

Francesco Cantando of Italy came home fifth after qualifying eighth for the two-time winner of the event giving the Singha F1 Racing Team driver his second top five of the season.

 

Team Abu Dhabi pilot Thani Al Qamzi ended his hopes of a first world title by finishing a disappointing sixth picking up five points and falling 24 points behind Carella with just 20 points to be won from the final Grand Prix.

 

Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden did well taking seventh in his brand new Molgaard boat after starting down in the 17th position off the dock because of an engine change.

 

Portugal's Duarte Benavente finished a solid eighth from his 14th qualifying position for his second top-10 finish of the season for the Atlantic Team.

 

Rookie Yousef Al Rubayan of Kuwait driving for the Mad Croc Team in his very first F1 event came home ninth while filling in for defending World Champion Sami Selio who continues to sit out because of his massive accident in China two months ago.

 

The first corner on the opening lap was once again a battleground when two rookies, Shaun Torrente of the Qatar Team got together with Poland's Bartek Marszalek taking both drivers out immediately and both boats heavily damaged and questionable for next weekends Grand Prix.

 

The field of 18 drivers from 12 different countries move up the road to just outside Dubai and the historic city of Sharjah for the 13th Grand Prix of Sharjah on the edge of the Khalid Lagoon on the 15th and 16th of December. Two drivers from the Qatar Team fighting for a championship and the pole position title still up in the air.

 

The drama of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship once again reaches a peak at the final round of 2011 with the crowning a World Title.