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Nations Cup victory for Team UAE

by F1H2O Nations Cup on 5 Dec 2013
ABU DHABI-UAE-December 4, 2013- Race 2 for UIM NATIONS CUP World Series Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi. Vittorio Ubertone http://www.400asa.it
Rashed Al Qemzi achieved two virtuoso performances claiming victory in both sprint races to lead Team UAE to the UIM Nations Cup Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title to win the Nations Cup for the third consecutive year.

Stefano Paoletti and Marco Gambi both delivered strong individual performances, Paoletti finishing fourth and third to take the runners-up place in the Grand Prix rankings on Team Italy’s series debut, ahead of Team Norway’s Stian Slattedalen and Christian Carlsen.

Team Russia led the points table after the Qatar Grand Prix but had to settle for second place with Saudi Arabia taking a well-earned third place in the overall standings.

There was drama at the start of race 2 when Venezuela’s Antonino Spitaleri barrel-rolled just seconds into the race after a clash with one of the Russian boats at the first turn, and then collided with Team Lebanon’s Lebos Chaguri. Both drivers were unhurt but out of the race.

Pole sitter Al Qemzi led race 1 from start-to-finish and apart from an early challenge from Slattedalen was in full control to run out the comfortable winner, with teammate Mohamed Al Mehairbi picking up valuable points in fifth.

Slattedalen’s only challenge came from teammate Carlsen, the Norwegian duo running line astern to the chequered flag.

Italy’s Stefano Paoletti finished a comfortable fourth with Venezuela’s Antonino Spitaleri completing the top six.

In race 2 Al Qemzi produced another blistering start and was moving clear of Slattedalen and Paoletti when the yellow flag came out.

The boats were held for four laps as Spitaleri’s boat was removed from the course and Chaguri limped back to the pits.

Al Qemzi was quick to react when the green flag was raised and immediately started to open a gap over Slattedalen and Paoletti, the leading trio holding station when a second yellow flag came out on lap 13 after Carlsen’s engine gave out.

From the restart Al Qemzi was able to ease away to take the win-double and was followed home by Norway and Italy.

Team Russia’s Kostantin Ustinov and Dmitry Malkin enjoyed a race long tussle, Ustinov passing his teammate on lap 22 of 26, Italy’s Marco Gambi taking sixth.

Saudi Arabia’s Saud Hamad and Naeem Al Kedawi’s consistent performances and top-ten points finishes earned them a well-deserved third overall ahead of Norway, with Qatar beset by technical problems finishing a disappointing fifth ahead of Italy.

Nations Cup Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Sprint Race 1
1. 2 Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) – 25pts
2. 8 Stian Slattedalen (NOR) – 22pts
3. 7 Christian Carlsen (NOR) – 20pts
4. 14 Stefano Paoletti (ITA) – 18pts
5. 1 Mohamad Al Mehairbi (UAE) – 16pts
6. 15 Antonino Spitaleri (VEN) – 15pts

Nations Cup Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Sprint Race 2
1. 2 Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) – 25pts
2. 8 Stian Slattedalen (NOR) – 22pts
3. 14 Stefano Paoletti (ITA) – 20pts
4. 6 Kostantin Ustinov (RUS) – 18pts
5. 5 Dmitry Malkin (RUS) – 16pts
6. 13 Marco Gambi (ITA) – 15pts

Nations Cup Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Overall Points:
1. Team UAE – 103pts 2. Team Italy – 101pts 3. Team Norway – 91pts 4. Team Russia – 75pts 5. Team Saudi Arabia – 67pts 6. Team Qatar – 47pts 7. Team Venezuela – 27pts 8. Team Lebanon – 22pts

Nations Cup - Overall Championship Points:
1. Team UAE – 184pts 2. Team Russia – 169pts 3. Team Saudi Arabia – 156pts 4. Team Norway – 129pts 5. Team Qatar – 126pts 6. Team Italy – 101pts 7. Team Lebanon – 42pts 8. Team Venezuela – 27pts
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