by F1 H2O
The F1H2O World Championship’s Grand Prix of Tatarstan is now all set in Kazan, Russia, with Florida driver Shaun Torrente setting a blistering lap and a new qualifying record to lead a one-two Qatar Team attack of a field of 18 drivers from eleven countries.
Alex Carella of Italy of F1 Qatar Team at UIM F1 H20 Powerboat Grand Prix of Republic of Tatarstan in the Nizhniy Kaban Lake
The American, who came within less than a second for the pole last year in his rookie season got a little revenge on his new teammate in current World Champion Alex Carella whom last season won from pole position but had to settle for second to Torrente's first career pole with a 42.65 second lap to his 42.78 time.
'I'm really pleased with the way the boat handled this evening and despite the gusty winds I was able to keep the boat on the water and my Peters and May DAC hull ran almost on rails for me to set that time,' said Shaun. 'There is no revenge for last year, Alex and I are teammates this season and we are each other’s major cheerleader and we both each want to do well. That's teamwork.'
For the current World Champion, Carella was very pleased with his performance that was just .13 of a second behind the 33 year-old from Miami. 'We ran a great second lap and it will be a real fun drag race to the first corner tomorrow in the battle for the lead in the race,' said Alex. 'I'm really looking forward to it.'
Almost lost in the Qatar Team battle is Ahmed Al Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi who's the driver leading the championship after his win in Doha who was .43 of second back and who had earned the last two straight pole positions in the last two starts and four of the last five coming into the race weekend in Kazan.
'I chose the wrong propeller and I'm mad at myself for making the mistake,' said Ahmed. 'Now it should be a real drag race at the start which could be a key to victory on this narrow race circuit. It should be great fun.'
Fourth went to the French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team who is chasing his first career victory after finishing second at the opening round who did a 43.49 in his French built Moore boat.
Thani Al Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi was fifth with a 43.58 as he chases his first points of the season, while veteran Italian Francesco Cantando was sixth and a 43.73 second lap as he starts his 11th race in Russia since 1997.
Sami Selio of Finland was seventh with a 43.80 time as he looks to win for the second time in Russia since his 2010 victory for the Mad Croc Team.
Two time winner in Russia Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden was eighth with a 43.87, Portugal's Duarte Benavente of Team Atlantic was ninth with a 45.30. Rounding out the top-10 was Norway's Marit Stromoy with a 45.84 for the only women currently racing in F1 powerboats.
Tomorrow's Grand Prix of Tatarstan which will be the 13th race in the Russian Federation in the past 17 years will take place on lovely Nizny Kabon Lake in the city center of Kazan beginning at 17:00 local, 13:00 GMT and 9:00 EDT along the East Coast of North America. Drivers from 11 different nations and three continents will take the green lights for the second time in back to back years in historic Kazan.