Team Abu Dhabi's F2 world champion lines up home victory as series reaches grand finale in UAE capital
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 7 December, 2019: Rashed Al Qemzi underlined his dominance of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship today with another sparkling display to claim pole position for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
The Team Abu Dhabi driver, who wrapped up his second F2 world title in three years at the penultimate round of the series in Portugal, maintained his 100% qualifying record to move within reach of a fourth Grand Prix victory of the season.
Saving his best until last, Al Qemzi produced a brilliant second lap in the qualifying shoot-out to set a fastest time of 45.13 secs and deny Portugal's Duarte Benavente (45.59) who had edged out Britain's Owen Jelf (46.09) moments earlier.
A home triumph on the championship's first ever visit to the UAE capital will be the crowning glory for Al Qemzi, who has led the way from his opening round success in Lithuania, and also won the Grand Prix of Italy.
He clinched a fifth successive pole succession on the day a new academy was officially opened adjacent to Abu Dhabi's Grand Prix race venue to teach and train the next generation of water sports enthusiasts and world champions in the UAE capital.
Immediately following the qualifying action, Thomas Kurth, Secretary General of the UIM, the international governing body of powerboating, officially inaugurated the new Abu Dhabi Marine Academy.
The academy has been set up by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club to build on the outstanding powerboat racing success of Team Abu Dhabi who have won nine world titles since Guido Cappellini arrived as team manager in February, 2015.
Using a team of internationally and nationally qualified academy course instructors, it offers expert tuition in a range of water based sports from swimming and flyboard to waterski, aquabike, and powerboat racing as well as rescue, recovery and safety.
Leading qualifying times:
1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE 45.13
2. Duarte Benavente POR 45.59
3. Owen Jelf GBR 45.75
4. Tobias Munthe-Kaas NOR 46.03
5. Stefan Hagin GER 46.56
6. Edgaras Riabko LT 46.75
7. Ola Pettersson SWE 46.94
8. Ferdinand Zandbergen NL 47.57
9. Kalle Viippo FIN 47.91
10. Ahmad Al Fahim UAE 51.53