Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Mansoori dazzles to claim pole in Lithuania

Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Mansoori dazzles to claim pole in Lithuania
Mansoor Al-Mansoori of Team Abu Dhabi takes pole in Lithuania. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 August 2022

Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Mansoori dazzles to claim pole in Lithuania

Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Mansoori dazzles to claim pole in Lithuania
  • The Emirati star boosts F2 World Championship bid as Al-Qemzi battles to stay in title race

Team Abu Dhabi’s Mansoor Al-Mansoori boosted his challenge for the 2022 UIM F2 World Championship on Saturday by grabbing pole position for the Grand Prix of Lithuania.

Spurred on by his second place in last month’s first round of the 2022 series in Poland, the Emirati driver produced a stunning performance to win a three-stage qualifying session hampered by gusting winds.

Al-Mansoori edged out Sharjah Team’s Sami Selio in a thrilling shoot-out to ensure he will start an F2 race from the front for the first time tomorrow.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” said Al-Mansoori. “I’ll be aiming to have a good start, and after I turn the first buoy I can keep my position.”

Team-mate and three-times F2 world champion Rashed Al Qemzi will start tomorrow’s second Grand Prix of the season from seventh spot after narrowly missing a place in the shoot-out on a demanding circuit.

“The course was too crowded and it was very difficult to set a good time, but I’ll push hard tomorrow and everything is possible,” said Al-Qemzi.

The defending world champion is eager to bounce back with a big performance in Lithuania following his setback in Poland, where a race error from a backmarker put him out while he led the opening round.

Al-Qemzi had quickly found his pace in Kupiskis, setting the fastest time in today’s free practice session.

American Brent Dillard, who cracked a rib playing basketball last week, was forced to retire in pain and hand over the drive to Frenchman Peter Morin.

Sweden’s Bimba Sjoholm made a dramatic exit from the practice session when her boat barrel-rolled, and although she was able to start the first qualifying session, she soon went out with mechanical issues.

Flying Finn Selio was fastest in that session, with Al-Mansoori in fifth and Al-Qemzi in sixth going through comfortably.

After Al-Mansoori took an early lead in the shoot-out, Selio powered his way ahead, but the Emirati driver quickly responded to secure pole position. Germany’s Stefan Hagin, the first round winner in Poland, qualified in fifth place.

Final qualifying position for Grand Prix of Lithuania:

1. Mansoor Al-Mansoori (UAE) 39.568

2. Sami Selio (FIN) 39.808

3. Giacomo Sacchi (MON) 40.009

4. Duarte Benavente (POR) 40.303

5. Stefan Hagin 40.512

6. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) 40.775