Posted on March 30, 2012

Team Qatar’s Khalid Saleh Al-Shamlan and Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari finished second and fourth in Thursday afternoon's Match Race at the UIM Nations Cup race, held in calm conditions at Khor Fakkan in the Sharjah emirate of the UAE.

The Doha-based duo had beaten Team Malaysia and Team Brazil to get themselves into a position to challenge for the Match Race title, but Team UAE's Rashid Al-Tayer pipped Al-Kuwari to the chequered flag in the battle for third and fourth places and cockpit problems cost Al-Shamlan valuable time in his quest to beat Team UAE's Majed Al-Mansoori in the final.

Al-Mansoori held on to take victory in the Match Race, as Team UAE and Team Qatar dominated the on-water UIM Nations Cup action, much as they have done in recent months in the UIM F1 H20 World Championship.

"Second and fourth for our drivers and that is a great start to the weekend," said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).

"Khalid (Al-Shamlan) had a problem with the cockpit and that cost him some time, but our guys are well-placed to challenge for the Nations Cup title in the two races on Friday afternoon."

Al-Shamlan had won the morning s time trials on the 1,639-metre course with a stunning performance and a fastest lap of 48.92s to oust his more experienced Team UAE rivals Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer. Formula One racer Rhys Jones was registered in fourth position for Team Brazil and Qatar's Al-Kuwari was classified in eighth in the second Team Qatar boat with a lap of 50.99s.

Team Qatar finished second and seventh in Wednesday s first free practice session, with Al-Shamlan shadowing Team UAE's Rashed Al-Tayer after his 14-lap stint.

The Qatari went one better in the second practice stint and set the quickest lap of 49.50s during another eight laps on the course. Al-Kuwari also improved with the fifth quickest time.

"It was a good opening day for both drivers and the team," added Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari. "Khalid (Al Shamlan) was very consistent and strong all day despite a problem with his trim and once Khalid (Al Kuwari) settled down and learnt the course he picked up his pace and improved by over a second to go fifth quickest in the afternoon."

Teams taking part in the UIM Nations Cup use a series of boats supplied and built by H20 Racing and powered by 225hp Mercury Optimax 200XS SST engines. The boats weigh around 455kg and have a top speed in excess of 200km/h.

Friday's timetable has been revised. Free practice will now take place for an hour from 13.30hrs and the first of two 20-minute sprint races will start at 16.40hrs, with the second race rounding off the day's action at 17.15hrs.

Advertisement

Categories: