The Qatar team, the defending World and Pole Position F1 H20 World Champions, begins the defence of their titles at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Brazil on Lake Paranoá in the country’s federal capital Brasilia.
Twice World Champion Alex Carella and team-mate Shaun Torrente are confident and raring to go at the start of what promises to be another thrilling season of F1 H20 racing with a calendar that starts in Brazil and finishes in Sharjah in December, with stops in Kiev, Shanghai, Liuzhou, Doha and Abu Dhabi en route. This weekend’s race is the first ever F1 H20 race in South America and the second ever in the southern hemisphere – South Africa hosted a race in 1992. The team tested in Italy in the spring and is now in Brazil making final preparations for the start of the weekend’s on-course action on Saturday morning. Brasilia is located in central-west Brazil and is the fourth largest city in the country. The racecourse is situated around 920 metres above sea level.
“The whole team is looking forward to racing at the new venue for the first time and beginning our campaign to bring the world title back to Qatar again,”said Khalid bin Arhama al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federstion (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor al-Thani.
Torrente is upbeat about his chances: “It’s good to be back in the boat, that’s for sure. For me, Brazil is more about staying in the race and scoring good points. Obviously we want to win, but I have to race smarter and think about the whole year. We are expecting about an eight to 12% power loss with the altitude depending upon the weather conditions.
“The good thing is that all the teams have the disadvantage and our crew chief Brendan Power and I have some experience from racing in Windsor, where the elevation is above 5,000 feet (1,530 metres).” Carella has been keeping busy in the close season and joined Team China’s Philippe Chiappe and the Morin brothers to win the recent Rouen 24-hour race in the Class 3 Moore cat ‘Drakkar’ on the River Seine.
Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari will represent the Qatar Team in the competitive UIM F-4S category that runs in conjunction with the F1 H20 races. He faces competition from the likes of Kornel and Viktor Vo, Jan Andre Landsnes, Mohammed al-Mehairbi, Tobias Munthe-Kaas and Bincheng Wu.
After technical scrutineering and dunk tests on Friday (May 31st), the F1 drivers take to the water for the first time at 09.15hrs local time (15.15 Doha time) on Saturday morning for a one-hour free practice session.
The F-4S runners follow with their first practice and time trials and the first of the weekend’s two F-4S races begins at 14.30hrs. Qualifying for F1 gets underway at 15.00hrs.
Free practice starts at the earlier time of 08.00hrs on Sunday, June 2nd and F-4S practice and time trials precede the second F-4S race at 09.45hrs.
Source : Qatar Chronicle
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