Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi clinched his fourth UIM F2 World Championship title in an exhilarating race at the Grand Prix of Portugal. With a perfect strategic approach and a second-place finish in the penultimate round of the championship, Al Qemzi solidified his position as one of the top powerboat racers in the world.
Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko emerged victorious at the event, but it was Al Qemzi who stole the spotlight with his consistent performance throughout the season. Winning previous F2 titles in 2017, 2019, and 2021, Al Qemzi has now firmly etched his name in the history books as one of the most successful powerboat racers of all time.
Celebrations were in full swing for Team Abu Dhabi as Al Qemzi’s teammate, Mansoor Al Mansoori, also secured a place on the podium with a remarkable third-place finish. Starting from fifth place, Al Mansoori showcased his exceptional driving skills, adding to the team’s success and camaraderie.
In a thrilling battle for the lead, Al Qemzi was narrowly edged out by Riabko at the start of the race. However, instead of pushing too hard to regain the lead, Al Qemzi adopted a calculated approach, settling into second place and focusing on maintaining his position. With his closest rivals, Giacomo Sacchi and Stefan Arand, struggling to catch up, Al Qemzi played the long game, preserving his chances for the final round of the championship.
Supporting his teammate’s ambitions, Al Mansoori strategically climbed two places in the early stages of the race to secure third place. This served as a crucial buffer, guarding Al Qemzi’s position from potential threats from behind. However, fortune favored the Team Abu Dhabi duo as Sacchi experienced mechanical problems and Arand settled for fifth place, giving Al Qemzi and Al Mansoori a clear path to the podium.
Al Qemzi will now set his sights on another victory in the season’s final Grand Prix on the Tagus river in Vila Velha de Ródão next Sunday. It was in this very race two years ago that Al Qemzi secured his third F2 world title with a phenomenal performance. With momentum on his side, Al Qemzi will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with as he aims for a third win this season.
This victory not only cements Al Qemzi’s place as a dominant force in powerboat racing but also highlights the incredible success of Team Abu Dhabi under the leadership of manager Guido Capsellini. Since taking charge eight years ago, Capsellini has delivered a staggering 17 world championship titles to the UAE capital. The team’s dedication, expertise, and unwavering support for their drivers have undoubtedly propelled them to the top of the sport.
Al Qemzi’s journey to this championship title was not without its challenges. In a free practice session leading up to the race, he encountered a moment of uncertainty when his boat flipped and sustained damage. However, thanks to the quick work of the Team Abu Dhabi technicians, the boat was repaired in record time, ensuring Al Qemzi’s participation in the race.
With his fourth F2 world championship title now secured, Al Qemzi is poised to continue his dominance in the world of powerboat racing. His skill, determination, and strategic brilliance make him a formidable competitor, and all eyes will be on him as he looks to add to his impressive collection of titles in the years to come.