ABU DHABI: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi has set his sights on victory in the Grand Prix of Lithuania at the weekend to revive his hopes of a fourth UIM F2 World Championship crown.
The Emirati driver is determined to shrug off last month’s setback in Poland when a race error from one of the backmarkers put him out this season’s opening round.
“A similar thing happened to me in the first Grand Prix last season, and I still came through to take the title,” said the Emirati driver, ahead of Sunday’s second round of the championship in Kupiskis.
“I believe I still have a good chance this time. I have a brand new boat which is very good for me. I would have won in Poland but for a mistake by another driver, but that’s behind me now and I’m aiming for a win in Lithuania.”
Mansoor Al-Mansoori’s second place in Augustow behind Germany’s Stefan Hagin underlined his own credentials, and Al-Qemzi believe his Abu Dhabi team-mate can do well in this championship.
“Mansoor is improving all the time, and he has a great future in F2,” he said. “The management at Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club choose the best to represent the team, and Mansoor has what it takes to get to the top.”
Holding second place in the F2 championship, Al-Mansoori is prepared for another big challenge in Kupiskis in the boat which took Al-Qemzi to the world title last year.
“The result in Poland has given me a lot of confidence,” Al-Mansoori said. “It showed that I can compete with the guys at the top in F2, and motivates me to fight for another good result in Lithuania.
“My focus is to finish in a good position. I’m still fairly new to F2, still building and gaining experience. I want to support Rashed, and at the same time follow his steps, and it’s an honor to be driving the boat of the three-times world champion.”
The Team Abu Dhabi duo are in a strong field of 21 boats assembling in Kupiskis, where Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko is aiming to complete back-to-back wins in his home event.
After a Saturday afternoon qualifying session, the F2 boats will contest an evening match race event before the Grand Prix of Lithuania gets under way.