San Nazaro, Italy: Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi is still chasing his dream of winning the F1H2O World Championship as he prepares for his French Grand Prix in Macon next weekend 150th game.
The experienced Emirati driver, a two-time championship runner-up and six-time third runner-up, was in good spirits after two days of testing in San Nazaro, Italy, alongside team-mate and reigning world champion Sean Torrent.
“We’ve been preparing a circuit in Italy that is similar to Macon, with the same dimensions and turns, so I feel good about it,” said Al Qamzi, who made his F1H2O debut in 2000
“Defending World Team Champion”
“While I’m working hard to win my first individual drivers’ championship, I’m also defending our constructors’ world title with Sean.”
Al Qamzi, who has 10 career grand prix victories and 43 podium finishes, is ninth in this year’s standings, 16 behind leader Jonas Andersson point.
Returning to France after missing the second round of the Chinese Grand Prix, he took over from three-time UIM F2 champion cousin Rashed Al Qamzi for the second round in Abu Dhabi , the latter resumed his role as a substitute driver.
Torrent, currently fourth, six points behind Anderson, is aiming for a better result than he did in Macon last year, when he led his team-mate to victory.
“Last year Macon was a great race for the team,” said the three-time world champion. “We got first and second, but I just missed pole, so I’m hoping to get pole this year.
“We’ve done some good testing, so it’s all ready to go now. The team did a fantastic job last year with engine prep. We won’t be making too many changes to the boat, but we’re working on tuning the propellers and engines To adapt to the new regulations. This is our focus in Italy.
“The season has been mixed for me so far. We ran well in the first two rounds, but unfortunately we made some mistakes. I lost a win in Toba, and then we lost in China. Pole position, which ends up costing you
“After all is said and done, I’m only six points behind the leaders, so I feel good. A good weekend in Macon and I’ll be able to lead the standings.”
Commenting on Al Kamzi’s prospects of winning the world drivers’ title for the first time, Torrent said: “I always thought Sani had a chance of winning it. He has the same equipment as me, so he has as good a chance as I do.
“He just needs to stay focused and continue to fight well. Now that the championship is in such a mess, he can still challenge for the championship.”
UIM F1H2O World Championship Leaderboard
Jonas Anderson 23 points; Eric Stark 21; Butek Masalek 20; Sean Torrent 17; Sam Sellio 15; Ferdinand Zandbergen 12; Rohm 11; Peter Morin 9; Taney Kamuz 7; Brent Dillard 6