Friday, February 24: Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qemzi stole a march on his rivals to top the timings in the extra free practice session for this weekend’s Kopiko Grand Prix of Indonesia on Friday lunchtime.
While much of the western world was still in slumber, the UIM F1H2O World Championship got underway on Sumatra’s spectacular Lake Toba and Al-Qemzi ran his DAC for 15 laps to set the quickest tour of 1min 06.75sec on the challenging course.
Returning with the Victory Team for the first time since 2019, Sweden’s Erik Stark ran the Emirati the closest and posted the second quickest time of the session – a best run of 1min 09.80sec during his eight laps on the water. Team Sweden’s former World Champion Jonas Andersson was third.
Sixteen of the 20 racers managed to gain a little experience on the water. Ferdinand Zandbergen and Duarte Benavente only managed one slow lap around the course, while Norway’s Marit Strømøy and the China CTIC Team’s Peter Morin sat out the session.
2023 Kopiko Grand Prix of Indonesia – extra free practice:
1. Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 1min 06.75sec
2. Erik Stark (SWE) Victory Team 1min 08.00sec
3. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 1min 09.17sec
4. Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick Racing 1min 10.08sec
5.Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi 1min 11.67sec
6. Ahmed Al-Fahim (UAE) Victory Team 1min 11.86sec
7. Kalle Viippo (FIN) Team Sweden 1min 12.29sec
8. Brock Cohen (AUS) Comparato F1 1min 12.57sec
9. Sami Seliö (FIN) Sharjah Team 1min 16.75sec
10. Brent Dillard (USA) China CTIC Team 1min 19.79sec
11. Alberto Comparato (ITA) Comparato F1 1min 22.09sec
12. Filip Roms (FIN) Gillman Racing 1min 22.56sec
13. Alexandre Bourgeot (FRA) Maverick Racing 1min 24.25sec
14. Ben Jelf (GBR) F1 Atlantic Team 1min 26.07sec
15. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team 1min 26.71sec
16. Alec Weckström (FIN) Gillman Racing 1min 30.76sec
17. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NLD) Sharjah Team 2min 10.01sec
18. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 2min 27.80sec
Peter Morin (FRA) China CTIC Team DNS
Marit Strømøy (NOR) Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team DNS