KYIV, Ukraine - Wednesday, 24th of July, 2013 - It's only been one race, but it seems like a lifetime for Team Abu Dhabi pilot Thani Al Qamzi as he looks to jump start his 2013 season hoping for at least a top five finish this weekend at Saturday's 3rd Annual Grand Prix of Ukraine along the Kyiv Sea.
The winner of last years final event of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship at the Grand Prix of Sharjah in mid-December, Thani, who is now in his 13th season of competition finished third in 2012 and in the top three of the Drivers Championship for the third time in the last four years.
Always competitive, he still hasn't gotten any closer than runner-up in the season championship in his 103 total starts. He earned a career best 143 points in that 2009 campaign winning once and reaching the podium six times in a 16 race season.
"For some reason I've come close but haven't taken a title yet," said the 34 year-old driver from Abu Dhabi.
"This year, I came close at the first race in Brazil with a fourth place a month ago and that was with my new BABA boat that I was still trying to get comfortable in. Now, with a race under my belt, hopefully I'll be wearing the boat this time around like a pair of comfortable shoes and shoot for my first victory here in Kyiv."
Thani, who has a total of 26 career podiums, hasn't even reached the top five in the two events raced here in Kyiv since 2011. He started sixth and finished seventh two years ago and last season did the opposite, starting seventh and took home sixth position.
"It's a bit disappointing not to have been more competitive at this race event," said Thani. "I guess it happens to every racing driver, some circuits just seem to work out better than others, but this time I feel we have the confidence to push for a victory this year which is nice."
"It's also great to have Ahmed back. My old fishing partner is feeling a lot better and we are going to push hard to get both Team Abu Dhabi boats on the podium this time around."
Last year, teammate Ahmed Al Hameli crashed in qualifying and forcing him to start back in the 10th position. In the race he charged his way up to a podium second place in his final race of his shortened 2012 campaign. An unexpected illness put his dreams to rest in search of his first world title.
Al Hameli has had good luck here in the past however having won the race from pole in 2011 and hopes to once again have a perfect weekend again this weekend. He like his friend Thani will be searching for their first podiums of 2013 on Saturday.
Drivers from around the world and four different continents have come to the Kyiv region on the northern suburbs of the city to fight for round number two of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship. The battle for pole position will be held on Friday followed on Saturday by the official Grand Prix both starting at 18:00 local (15:00 GMT) time.
Qualifying and the Grand Prix can be watched live via the world television feed by going to the series official website at www.f1h2o.com at the above times each day.
Be In The Know - With F1 H2O!
|Thani Al Qamzi||14|
|Ahmed Al Hameli||14|
|UIM F1H2O World Championship|
|UAE||Abu Dhabi||Nov 21|
|UIM Nations Cup|
|date and venue could be changed|
|Middle East (Doha, Qatar)|
|02||Philippe Chiappe||+ 10.32 secs|
|03||Sami Selio||+ 14.77 secs|