Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed keeps world title hopes alive

Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Qemzi. (Supplied photo)
Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Qemzi. (Supplied photo)

Ribadouro (Portugal) - Al Qemzi can secure the world title with another win in next weekend's final round

Published: Mon 11 Oct 2021, 12:38 AM

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi secured a convincing victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal on Sunday to move within reach of a third UIM F2 world championship title.

The 2017 and 2019 F2 champion led from start to finish to record his third career win at Ribadouro after another day of high winds led to delays and difficult conditions on the Douro river race course.

Al Qemzi, who had claimed pole position 24 hours earlier, can secure the world crown again with another win in next weekend’s final round at Vila Velha de Ródão.

The Emirati won the first of the two back-to-back 40-lap races making up this year’s decisive Grand Prix of Portugal by shrugging off a strong challenge from home favourite Duarte Benavente

His winning margin over Benavente was 2.336 seconds, but more significantly was the fact that he closed to within two points of championship leader Edgaras Riabko, who finished fourth today after winning the opening round in his native Lithuania.

With Sweden’s Bimba Sjöholm claiming the third podium position on the day, Team Abu Dhabi’s Mansoor Al Mansoor produced an impressive display to take fifth place after starting 11th on the grid.

The shortened 2021 powerboat racing season has already seen Team Abu Dhabi clinch one major title and take a firm grip on another world championship series.

Al Qemzi and Al Mansoori combined with veteran driver Thani Al Qemzi to deliver a second successive UIM World Endurance crown to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club in July, with victory in Augustów, Poland.

The prize wanted most by Thani Al Qemzi, however, is the UIM F1H2O world title, something which has so far eluded him since he made his debut in the flagship single-seater inshore circuit racing series 21 years ago.

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