Team Abu Dhabi's Al Qemzi wins Italy GP, moves closer to F2 World Championship title
Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Qemzi in action during the Grand Prix of Italy. - Supplied photo
Abu Dhabi - Qemzi will now aim to clinch the world title during the Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro
Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Qemzi has taken a major step towards a second UIM F2 World Championship title after an emphatic victory in the Grand Prix of Italy.
The 2017 champion extended his lead in this year's series to 30 points over Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen with a commanding performance in Brindisi where he dominated proceedings over two days.
Al Qemzi will now aim to clinch the world title during the Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro on Sept. 13-15, although he could be kept waiting until the final round in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5-7.
The Emirati driver followed up his opening round victory in Lithuania and second place in Norway with another impressive performance in Italy where he looked to be in control from the official practice session when he set the pace.
Al Qemzi then secured his third successive pole position in qualifying and went on to claim his second Grand Prix victory of the season, shrugging off a yellow flag re-start to win by almost four seconds from Sweden's Ola Pettersson.
"After the yellow flag my adrenalin was flowing as the pressure was back on me, especially as this was a very short circuit," said Al Qemzi. "But I regained the lead and felt comfortable after that and just focused on staying ahead."
Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Tayer, who had been hoping for a change in fortunes after qualifying in seventh place, went out after suffering engine problems and then hitting a race buoy.
"The circuit was really too crowded for a circuit just 1650 metres long," said Al Tayer. "Nobody can reach a good speed when it's like that and the race should be limited to 15 boats."
|RESULTS / STANDINGS|
1. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) 48:43:82
2. Ola Pettersson (SWE) 48:47:41
3. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) 48:48:16
4. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) 48:52:57
5. Duarte Benavente (POR) 48:53:60
6. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) 48:56:63
7. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NL) 48:58:32
8. Mette Bjerknæs (NOR) 49:00:13
9. Johan Österberg (SWE) 49:07:10
10. Owen Jelf (GBR) 49:07:32
1. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) 55pts
2. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NL) 25
3. Duarte Benavente (POR) 23
4. Ola Pettersson (SWE) 22
5. Stefan Hagin (GER) 20
6. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) 20
7. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) 12
8. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) 11
9. Brent Dillard (USA) 9
10. Owen Jelf (GB) 9