The organisers of the UIM F1H2o Grand Prix of Sharjah organised a pre-race press conference at the Sharjah Hilton today.
His Excellency Khalid Al-Midfa (Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority), Hassan Al-Zaabi (Sharjah International Marine Sports Club) and young aquabike racer Sultan Al-Hammadi were joined by H2o Racing’s Nicolo di San Germano and leading drivers, Alex Carella, Philippe Chiappe and Erik Stark.
San Germano spoke fondly about the 18-year history of an event that joined the calendar in 2000 and has seen six different winners in the last six years and eight in the last nine:
The 18 years of Sharjah has been a fantastic period of my life and in the history of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship.
Carella, who has earned two wins and three podiums this season, said:
It is going to be a fantastic battle with Philippe. Looking at the points is a dangerous strategy. I just have to go out there and try and win the race. It will be a big fight until Friday night and me and my team need to be very concentrated.
I asked Philippe Chiappe, ‘if Lady Luck was on his side on Friday and he were to win the World Championship would he then retire’?
You had better ask my Team Manager that question!
Stephen J. Michael ‘The Voice’ rounded off proceedings in his inimitable style:
To be the Man, You’ve got to beat the Man!
Additional reporting: Neil Perkins – Photos: Mike Powell