Rashed Al Qemzi Starts Strong with Impressive Victory in Lithuania
Klaipeda, Lithuania – August 13, 2023 – Rashed Al Qemzi of Team Abu Dhabi kicked off his quest for a fourth drivers’ championship title in the UIM F2 World Championship with a remarkable start-to-finish win at the Grand Prix of Lithuania.
Al Qemzi, who had a disappointing fourth place finish in qualifying, swiftly made up for it by seizing the lead from the very beginning of the race and delivering a composed performance that secured him victory over British racer Colin Jelf, himself a three-time F2 world champion.
Team Abu Dhabi seemed poised for a double podium finish as Mansoor Al Mansoori held onto a solid third place. However, an unfortunate incident on the 28th lap disrupted Al Mansoori’s race, causing him to overturn and retire prematurely.
As a result, the race concluded under a yellow flag, and Estonian rookie Stefan Arand claimed third place. Al Qemzi, driving a new DAC boat for the first time, expressed his elation for his team’s efforts at the finish line, acknowledging the hard work and the perfect start to the season.
Interestingly, Al Qemzi’s victory in Lithuania could serve as a favorable omen, as he previously won in this location on his way to two of his previous F2 world titles in 2017 and 2019.
Al Qemzi showcased his reputation as a fast starter by quickly moving up from fourth place to take an immediate lead, capitalizing on Monaco’s Giacomo Sacchi’s drop from pole position. Jelf also made an impressive leap from fifth to second position, while Al Mansoori showcased his own early acceleration by climbing from sixth to third, shaking up the top three.
The race faced a brief interruption with a yellow flag on the 17th lap when Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs collided with a buoy. Shortly after, Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas experienced a setback as he stopped to change his propeller, leaving him at the back of the field.
Despite Jelf’s attempts to apply pressure after the restart, Al Qemzi maintained control, ultimately securing the victory. While Al Mansoori’s race ended prematurely, he was the first to congratulate his teammate on his outstanding achievement.
The Team Abu Dhabi driver has set a strong foundation for his title campaign with this formidable triumph, and the team will undoubtedly carry this momentum into the upcoming races.