Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi had the perfect weekend in Ribadouro, starting from Pole Position, he led the UIM F2 Portugal Grand Prix from starting lights to chequered flag.
The Emirati used his pole qualifying position to full advantage, overcame a restart situation and gradually began to pull away from the rest of the field on the Duoro River in Portugal.
Al-Qemzi reached the chequered flag 11.19 seconds in front of Portugal’s local favourite Duarte-Benavente.
Al-Qemzi said after:
This is a fantastic result for the team and a victory that I knew I had to achieve to stand any chance of winning the World Championship again.
The team did a fantastic job with the boat.
We showed in qualifying that we were the quickest and to bring it home in first place is a perfect result.
Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko held second place for much of the race before slipping behind Benavente, he explained:
After the restart I kept second place almost untill the end of the race, when suddenly I felt that there was no power in my engine.
I raced with 5 cylinders for the last 7 laps.
I was very happy and lucky to to be on the podium!
Benavente was loudly cheered on the podium afterwards, he knows that he is out of the running for the F2 title and already has his mind on China, his next race in F1H2o in a week’s time.
Tobias Munthe-Kaas finished fourth, although was was handed a 1 lap penalty for jumping the start and that demoted him to 10th.
It’s not what we came for, but we are still hanging in to get a podium in the World Championship after the race in Sri Lanka.
The Victory Team’s Alex Carella, who finished fifth on the track was elevated to fourth place due to the Munthe-Kaas penalty:
This was not an easy event for us.
Our full focus was on finishing the race as we came to Portugal with a competitive set-up.
It’s a great feeling to open our account for this season with some crucial points.
I made a late entry into the championship at Tonsberg last month, but we had every intention to be competitive and even win races.
I feel we have reached a stage now where we can truly be among the top challengers for the UIM F2 World Championship in 2019.
The World Championship leader Alberto Comparato finished sixth and added valuable points going into the Colombo-based Grand Prix of Sri Lanka – The title decider.
2018 Grand Prix of Portugal – result
1. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) 43.68sec
2. Duarte Benavente (PRT) @11.19sec
3. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) @35.97sec
4. Alex Carella (ITA) @39.37sec
5. Alberto Comparato (ITA) @40.47sec
6. Brent Dillard (USA) @41.56sec
7. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) @42.84sec
8. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE) @43.72sec
9. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) @47.28sec
10. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) L1* Jump Start 1 Lap Penalty
11. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) L1
12. Ola Pettersson (SWE) L1
13. Steve Hoult (GBR) L1
14. Owen Jelf (GBR) L1
15. Luca Fornasarig (ITA) L6
Kalle Viippo (FIN) RET
Mette Bjerknaes (NOR) RET
Gavin Bricker (AUS) RET
Daniel Segenmark (SWE) RET
Philippe Tourre (FRA) DNS
2018 UIM F2 World Championship – positions after round 4:
1. Alberto Comparato (ITA) 47pts
2. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) 29pts
3. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) 27pts
4. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) 23 pts
5. Brent Dillard (USA) 19pts
6. Duarte Benavente (PRT) 18pts
7. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE) 15pts
8. Stefan Hagin (DEU) 12pts
9. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) 11pts
10. Alex Carella (ITA) 9pts
11. Héctor Sanz (ESP) 5pts
12. Ola Pettersson (SWE) 4pts
13. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) 4pts
13. Rupert Temper (AUT) 3pts
13. Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) 3pts
16. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) 2pts
17. Mette Bjerknaes (NOR) 1pt
17. Kalle Viippo (FIN) 1pt