2011 UIM F1 H2O World Championship sees the Qatar Team doing it again 1-2 after pole sitter crashed out.
Qatar Team 1-2
The Qatar Team finishes 1-2 for the second straight race with American Jay Price holding off his younger Italian teammate Alex Carella and winning by 6.49 seconds at the 13th Annual Grand Prix of Portugal on the Arade River in front of tens of thousands of fans in Portimao.
The second event of the season was an historic start with Norwegian driver Marit Stromoy holding her own with first Team Abu Dhabi driver Ahmed Al Hameli first jumping the start and then sliding over and then making contact with Marit but continuing on before finally crashing out on lap nine falling into a hole and barrel rolling to a stop. Ahmed would later receive a red card from the officials and now will miss the next event in Kazan in Russia in July.
Meanwhile, Marit roared on and held first position with American driver Shaun Torrente in his Peters & May Racing sponsored DAC for Team Sweden pushing up from sixth to second moving past Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al Qamzi and Qatar Team drivers Carella and Price in his who had sliding down to third and fourth.
On the restart, Torrente made a move to the outside and got to Marit's left and the two ended up touching and blowing over in spectacular fashion fighting for the lead of the race. The blow over ended both drivers dreams of a first win with Torrente handed two yellow cards for his attempt to passing for the lead. Once the boats were moved back to the start pontoon another restart ensued this time Price made a great move sliding around his teammate Carella and quickly moved to a two second lead after one lap with Al Qamzi sliding into third and Frenchman Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team into fourth. That's how they would finish at the end of the 42 laps.
'I couldn't be more pleased with the way my team put the package together this weekend,' said Jay. 'The restart was key and we had to be patient at the beginning of the race and just bide for time and wait for my move and it worked fantastically. Now with two straight victories we won't give up as we continue to push and put pressure on everyone else as we now get ready for Russia.'
Defending World Champion Sami Selio was fifth for his first finish of the season in his Team Mad Croc F1 boat picking up seven valuable points while Italian Francesco Cantando was sixth in his Singha F1 Blaze hull. Second year racer Davide Padovan of Italy was seventh in the other Team Mad Croc boat with local driver Duarte Benavente coming home a nice eighth after starting towards the back in his Atlantic Team Dragon boat.
Rounding out the top ten were French driver Philippe Tourre teammate to Benavente grabbing two points and taking the final point was Ivan Brigada of Italy for the Singha F1 Team.
In the F-4S event Saleh Al Shamlan gave the Qatar Team their first victory of the day by winning by 5.3 seconds over Filip Roms of Team Mad Croc. Pole sitter Bimba Sjoholm of Team Sweden was forced into a position with no place to go and barrel rolled to a stop while British driver Matthew Palfreyman who slid over and made the hit on Sjoholm finished third despite being penalized for his maneuver on the pole sitter.
With the double victory Jay Price now leads the UIM F1H2O World Championship with 40 points and 10 points ahead of his young teammate Alex Carella and Philippe Chiappe who has 21 points sitting third.
The championship now heads East to Russia and Kazan for the 16th and 17th of July as the tour makes it's first ever appearance to this lovely area southeast of Moscow.