ABU DHABI: Team Abu Dhabi duo Rashed Al-Qemzi and Mansoor Al-Mansoori head into the opening round of the 2023 UIM F2 World Championship in Lithuania next weekend with their focus on delivering another drivers’ title to the UAE capital.
The two Emirati drivers join forces again at the start of the new season that they hope will underline all the best qualities of F2 World Championship powerboat racing and ultimately see one of them crowned champion.
“We all know what happened last season, but as far as we’re concerned, that’s in the past, and we’re just concentrating on working together to get the best results for ourselves as drivers and for the team as a whole,” said three-time F2 champion Al-Qemzi.
“Mansoor wants to win the title just as much as I do, but we also work very well together as teammates to push each other and make sure we get the best out of ourselves.”
The Grand Prix of Lithuania switches this time to the port city of Klaipeda, where the Baltic Sea meets the Dane River. The country has been a happy hunting ground for Al-Qemzi, with victories in Kaunas, both in 2017 and 2019, propelling him toward his first two world titles.
Al-Mansoori is in an equally positive frame of mind on his return to Lithuania where he followed up his first pole position in the series in Kupiskis last year with a maiden F2 race victory.
“That was a big weekend for me, obviously, and the memories give me a lot of good energy for the start of the new season,” he said. “Rashed and I have a great team behind us, and everyone will be working very hard to give us the results we want.
“There are a lot of good drivers, so it will be very competitive. Apart from our own ambitions, we want the championship to be remembered for all the best reasons.”
Once more, Al-Qemzi and Al-Mansoori will be closely guided by powerboat racing legend Guido Cappellini, who has delivered 16 powerboat world championships to the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club since taking charge as Team Abu Dhabi manager in February 2015.
While Germany’s Stefan Hagin will not be defending his F2 world title this season, the opening round has attracted 19 drivers from 11 nations, with qualifying taking place on Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s Grand Prix.