ABU DHABI - January 3, 2012 - The winning Qatar Team on the 2011 UIM F1 H2O World Championship tour, announced today they are going with a new, younger line-up for the upcoming 2012 campaign, beginning with the opening round at their home course at the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar on the ninth and tenth of March.
Leading the team this season will be their defending World Champion Alex Carella of Italy as the 26 year-old driver took the title in only his second season on the tour. His title was hi-lited with a pair of wins in Kazan and Abu Dhabi and four podiums finishing the season with 84 total points.
Joining him will be the 2006 Rookie-of-the-Year driver Shaun Torrente. The two-time North American ChampBoat title holder brings his bold driving style to the team after finishing 10th in overall points last year despite completing only two of the six races he competed in 2011.
The 33 year-old driver from Miami, Florida, who is sponsored by Peters & May, showed everyone he had the talent and a flair for the dramatic finishing fourth in his first race, crashing out for the lead of the race in his second Grand Prix, qualifying second quickest in his third race while having two more accidents in his next three starts.
Shaun ended the season with a stimulating run fighting his way from 13th to take fifth at the final Grand Prix of the season in Sharjah in December and finishing the year with 19 points.
"It was definitely a learning process," said the American. "I'm so grateful to be associated to such a great team as the Qatar organization and want to personally thank QMSF President, His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani and Team Manager Eng. Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari for having the faith in me to bring me into their racing family and such a professional organization. They will get a 100% effort from me every time we hit the water. I can't wait to get started."
Joining Alex and Shaun as the third driver will be rising Qatari driver Khalid Al-Shamlan who competed in the international F4-S series finishing third overall in the championship with 161 points and a win in Portugal in May.
The 35 year-old driver from Doha also had 11 podium finishes, including six in a row at the start of the season, with two each in Doha, Qatar, Portimao, Portugal and Kazan in Russia.
Al-Shamlan, who now will be the "elder statesman" of this driving trio in F1 effort, really showed his maturity later in the year when he led the Qatar Team representing the country in the Nations Cup event in November. Khalid finished a fine second to Team Abu Dhabi driver Ahmed Al Hameli who won the race with the Qatar team just falling four points short of victory when the weekend of racing was over.
The driver changes from the Qatar Team were necessitated when veteran 53 year-old driver Jay Price announced his resignation from the team a few days ago. Price had been associated with the QMSF organization for 11 seasons during F1 and F2 campaigns bringing the team their first World Championship in F1 in 2008.
|UIM F1H2O World Championship|
|UKR||Kyiv Region GP||Jul 27||C|
|President Cup||Jul 28||C|
|UAE||Abu Dhabi||Nov 29||C|
|UIM Nations Cup|
|UAE||Abu Dhabi||Dec 1||C|
|date and venue could be changed|
|C= Confirmed TBC= To Be Confirmed
TBA= To Be Announced
|Thani Al Qamzi||60|
|Ahmed Al Hameli||50|
|Youssef Al Rubayan||11|
|01||Thani Al Qamzi|
|02||Terry Rinker||+ 2.09 secs|
|03||Francesco Cantando||+ 5.02 secs|