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Comparato extends UIM F2 lead

Chris Davies on 5th August 2018

Twenty-year-old Italian Alberto Comparato led the drama-filled race from pole position and was never troubled on his way to a second win of the season and a comfortable 18-point lead in the UIM F2 World Championship.

The Italian’s winning margin over Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas was 2.75 seconds, as Russian driver Konstantin Ustinov held off Al-Tayer to secure the final place on the podium. Al-Tayer and Al-Qemzi are now tied for seventh in the unofficial Drivers’ Championship standings.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi the defending UIM F2 World Champion, was involved in a first turn collision with Norwegian race promoter and birthday boy Frode Sundsdal that sidelined both drivers and forced a race restart situation.

American Brent Dillard and Sweden’s Daniel Segenmark reached the finish in fifth and sixth places and Spaniard Héctor Sanz, Swede Ola Pettersson, Austria’s Rupert Temper and Swedish lady racer Bimba Sjöholm rounded off the top 10.

EDH Grand Prix of Norway

Eigthteen boats lined up at the start of the 50-lap race, with Comparato on pole from Hagin and Riabko and the Team Abu Dhabi duo of Al-Qemzi and Al-Tayer in sixth and ninth.

Christian Carlsen had been penalised for a rules violation on Saturday evening and he lost his place lining up in eighth and was pushed to the back of the line-up for the Repecharge race.

Subsequent drivers moved up a place and Brent Dillard was given the 15th spot for the final.

The Repecharge race permitted three additional drivers to join the action and Mette Bjerknæs , Kalle Viippo and Rupert Temper all qualified at the rear of the field.

Defending UIM F1 H2O World Champion Alex Carella failed to make the race after completing only three laps in the Repecharge because of engine issues and the likes of Mansoor Al-Mansoori and Oskar Samuelsson also missed out.

But Bjerknaes was deemed to have infringed on her lane in the Repecharge and the young Norwegian’s place in the race was later taken by Owen Jelf.

The boats headed into a slight wind from the start pontoon and pole sitter Comparato and Hagin made a good start.

But the race was yellow-flagged at turn one after Sundsdal and Al-Qemzi collided and crashed out. Ferdinand Zandbergen’s boat also sustained damage in the incident.

After a delay, while the drivers were checked out and the damaged boats were removed from the course, action resumed with a pontoon restart and 16 of the original 18 boats on the water.

Comparato (above) made another good start and completed the opening lap ahead of Hagin and Riabko. The leading trio held station into lap four and Al-Tayer climbed from eighth to seventh.

Comparato led Hagin by 2.63 seconds into lap eight, as Munthe-Kaas passed Riabko to snatch third place and Ustinov also found a way through to take fourth at the expense of the Lithuanian.

The leading duo began to pull well clear of Munthe-Kaas and were 12 seconds ahead of the Norwegian into lap 12, as Al-Tayer climbed to sixth when Riabko withdrew.

The race was yellow-flagged when a turn buoy was displaced on lap 16 and a second buoy had also moved. After a lengthy and unfortunate delay, action resumed with a bunched pack of 15 drivers on lap 25.

But the race was yellow-flagged almost immediately after Hagin lost his cowling. The boats were instructed to revert to their pre-stoppage positions and the green flag was raised on lap 30, but Hagin was forced back to the pits before the restart and Munthe-Kaas climbed to second place and Ustinov into third. Al-Tayer also moved up to fifth.

Comparato maintained his lead from Munthe-Kaas and Ustinov and Al-Tayer overtook Zandbergen to snatch fourth place. But the race was interrupted yet again when Zandbergen flipped his boat out of the race and forced a yellow flag. Racing resumed on lap 37, once Zandbergen’s damaged Mad Croc BaBa had been removed from the course, and Comparato managed to hold off Munthe-Kaas and retain his advantage.

By lap 40, the Italian led the race by 4.91 seconds from Munthe-Kaas, as Ustinov continued to fend off the challenge from Al-Tayer in the battle for third place. Comparato continued to edge away from his rivals and the youngster reached the chequered flag 2.75 seconds ahead of Munthe-Kaas with Ustinov sealing third from Al-Tayer by 2.4 seconds.

Action in the UIM F2 World Championship continues in Ribadouro, Portugal, on September 15-16.

2018 EDH Grand Prix of Norway – result:

1. Alberto Comparato (ITA) 50 laps

2. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) @2.75sec

3. Konstantin Ustinov (RUS) @5.41sec

4. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE) @7.81sec

5. Brent Dillard (USA) @8.85sec

6. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) @15.97sec

7. Héctor Sanz (ESP) @18.72sec

8. Ola Pettersson (SWE) @27.78sec

9. Rupert Temper (AUT) @30.50sec

10. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) L1

11. Owen Jelf (GBR) L1

12. Kalle Viippo (FIN) L1

13. Johan Österberg (SWE) L1

Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) DNF

Stefan Hagin (DEU) DNF

Edgaras Riabko (LIT) DNF

Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) DNF

Frode Sundsdal (NOR) DNF

2018 UIM F2 World Championship – positions after round 3 (unofficial):

1. Alberto Comparato (ITA) 40pts

2. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) 22pts

3. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) 15pts

4. Konstantin Ustinov (RUS) 12pts

4. Stefan Hagin (DEU) 12pts

4. Brent Dillard (USA) 12pts

7. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE) 9pts

7. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) 9pts

7. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) 9pts

10. Héctor Sanz (ESP) 4pts

11. Ola Pettersson (SWE) 3pts

11. Duarte Benavente (PRT) 3pts

13. Rupert Temper (AUT) 2pts

13. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) 2pts

15. Mette Bjerknaes (NOR) 1pt

15. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) 1pt

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