by F1 H20
In the F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Tatarstan, Italian Alex Carella proved why he is the defending World Champion as the Qatar Team driver held off points leader Ahmed Al Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi by 4.73 seconds to capture the second race in front of tens of thousands of fans.
Alex Carella of Italy of the Qatar at the UIM F1H2O Powerboat Grand Prix of Tartastan, Nizny Kaban Lake, Kazan, Russia
The 27 year-old driver from Piacenza, Italy took the lead on the second lap after his teammate Shaun Torrente who had pole position and leading the field of 18 drivers from 11 different nations suddenly, slowed with intermittent power in his engine and the American from Miami pulled off the course giving Alex the green light in hopes of his second straight victory on Nizny Kaban Lake which he would never surrender.
'It was a great day for me for my Qatar team, other than Shaun's misfortune, as we were able to win twice in Kazan in two years and at the same time I was able to move from fifth to second in the drivers table which is always nice,' said Alex. 'Ahmed made it tough for me but I was able to hold him off and it's always good to stop someone who was on a bit of a winning streak as well.'
For Al Hameli, his second place marks the seventh race that he's finished he's in either first or second place on the podium while now holding down 35 points. He has an eight point edge ahead of Alex and French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team who earned his second podium in a row in 2012 after finishing second in Doha back in March.
Taking fourth was two-time World Champion Sami Selio of the Mad Croc Team settling for a fourth place finish after starting a disappointing seventh off the start pontoon and up in the top four of the championship with 21 points.
Fifth was two-time Russian winner Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden who fought his way to fifth in a solid run in his Danish built boat earning his first finish of the season.
Sixth was Thani Al Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi in a constant points chasing run with native Russian driver Stanislav Kurtsenovskiy thrilling the crowd once again moving from the 12th position to for the second year in a row in seventh at races end.
Italian Valerio Lugiannella of the Singha Team finished a fine eighth place while his veteran teammate Francesco Cantando who had moved from sixth to third early on went out on the fifth lap in tears.
French driver Philippe Tourre was ninth in the F1 Atlantic machine being the last driver to finish in the points for the afternoon.
Eight different boats failed to finish the event with young Finnish teenager Filip Roms failing to start the race after crashing out in practice on Friday morning.
The next round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship will take place in Kiev, Ukraine on the 20th and 21st of July as the third race of the season will mark the end of the European legs of the Championship.