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UIM F2 World Championship: Rashed aims for grand finale in Portugal

by Narayana Marar 20 Sep 2023 09:35 PDT
Team Abu Dhabi - Mansoor Al Mansouri - UIM F2 World Championship © Team Abu Dhabi

Newly-crowned four-time champion Rashed Al Qemzi and team-mate Mansoor Al Mansoori want to give Team Abu Dhabi a grand finale to the 2023 UIM F2 World Championship in Portugal at the weekend.

After clinching his latest title triumph with a second-place finish at Peso da Régua, Al Qemzi has set his sights on a third race victory of the season in Sunday's second leg of the Grand Prix of Portugal at Vila Velha de Ródão on Sunday.

A podium finish last weekend revived Al Mansoori's fortunes after his earlier disappointments, and he will be looking for a repeat performance as the championship reaches its climax on the Tagus river circuit.

Both drivers have acknowledged the winning culture instilled in Team Abu Dhabi by powerboat racing legend Guido Cappellini. The ten-time F1H2O champion has captured 17 world titles since becoming team manager eight years ago.

"Guido makes everyone work hard together to get the best results for the team, and he is always there to take care of any problems we have as drivers," said Al Qemzi, winner of the first two rounds in Lithuania and Italy.

"I'm proud to be champion again, and I would like to win on Sunday to thank Guido and the rest of the team. But it will be difficult again, because competition is very tough this season."

Third overall in last year's championship, Al Mansoori might have been in the same position again but for an accident towards the end of this season's opening round in Lithuania, when he looked set for a top-three finish.

"Things like that happen in racing, but in this team we always support each other and prepare for the next race," he said. "When your team manager has won ten world titles, everyone follows the example he sets for every race."

The traditional end-of-season venue of Vila Velha de Ródão is where Al Qemzi powered his way to a second Grand Prix victory within eight days two years ago to secure a third F2 world title.

The Emirati can expect another fierce challenge from last weekend's Grand Prix winner in Portugal, Edgaras Riabko, while Estonian Stefan Arand and Monaco's Giacomo Sacchi will battle the Lithuanian for the championship runner-up spot.

Championship standings:

    1. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) 55pts
    2. Edgaras Riabko (LTU) 29
    3. Stefan Arand (EST) 29
    4. Giacomo Sacchi (MON) 24
    5. Colin Jelf GBR) 20
    6. Mansoor al Mansoori 16
    7. Daniel Segenmark Sweden 15
    8. Mette Bjerknæs (GBR) 15
    9. Johan Österberg (SWE) 11
    10. Samuel Lucas (AUS) 7

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