Emirati driver claims opening round victory as race ends in drama
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 01 July, 2019: Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Qemzi launched his bid to regain the UIM F2 World Championship title with victory in the Lithuania Grand Prix today as the opening round of the season ended in dramatic fashion.
The 2017 world champion won in Kaunas for the second time in three years when Norwegian Tobias Munthe-Kaas collected a one lap penalty for a race buoy infringement after finishing ahead of the Emirati.
It meant a perfect start to the season for Al Qemzi, who began the opening round of the 2019 season in pole position after dominating the previous day's qualifying session.
On a day when gusting winds again created problems for the 20 drivers, Al Qemzi immediately lost his advantage when the 45 lap race got under way, dropping to third as Germany's Stefan Hagin powered his way into the lead from Munthe-Kaas.
The top three stayed that way until a 26th lap yellow flag when one of the turn buoys was dislodged, and from the restart Al Qemzi took second place as Hagin suffered power steering problems.
Team Abu Dhabi's Rashed Al Tayer, who had recovered from a crash in qualifying to start the race, went out of the Grand Prix at this point when rammed at the same turn.