DOHA, Qatar - (Friday, March 7, 2014) - It's time. Time for one of the premiere teams to step up to take the top rung and capture the World Championship ring for the first time as the CTIC CHINA Team prepares for the opening round of the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship at the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar on Doha Bay.
The curtain on the new season opens up next week with drivers from 13 different nations arriving in the dazzling light of downtown Doha from the 13th thru the 15th of March kicking off the 31st racing season of the worlds most spectacular international water sport which dates back to 1981.
Leading the way and pressing for both the drivers and team championship is this multi-national team led by French pilot Philippe Chiappe who finished third in the championship a year ago after being runner-up in 2012.
Racing Director and ex-F1 driver Philippe Dessertenne has kept the team in full working mode having tested in earnest in Abu Dhabi last month endlessly searching for both the correct hull settings and propeller choices that will put their driver from Rouen in the right frame for winning his second career Grand Prix of his career next weekend.
"We felt we had the championship a year ago," said Dessertenne. "We were disqualified from a podium in Doha a year ago because of a rules infraction that we still feel wasn't correct and now we are more determined than ever to prove we belong on the top-step of the title in both the drivers and team championships."
Meanwhile, his driver Philippe Chiappe, who earned his first career victory in Kyiv a year ago after 83 starts was on the podium four times and five top five finishes in the five races he completed.
"We reached a milestone a year ago in Kyiv and gained the confidence we needed to go for a title this year," said Chiappe. "The team is ready and we can't wait to introduce our resolve to the world starting next week in Doha."
Team Manager Eric Chan is just as enthusiastic as his racing members. "We have spent the winter talking strategy on and off the water and everyone is on the same page when it comes to chasing the title this year, I can't wait."
Number two driver and second year pilot "Leo" Xiong Ziwei is still learning the sport after he was spotted by Chan in Shenzhen a few years back putting on a demonstration of car control drifting outside the racing paddock.
"I think Leo now has the confidence to start scoring more points this season after earning his first with a 10th place finish in 2013," said Eric. "It's up to him to continue to improve and we will hopefully steer him in the right direction this season with both Philippe's (Dessertenne and Chiappe) developing him with their long timeline in the sport."
The CTIC China Team will be arriving knowing they will have to dethrone three-time World Championship driver Alex Carella of the Qatar Team who is hoping to win at his teams home Grand Prix for the first time in his career.
If that wasn't daunting enough, Carella's teammate Shaun Torrente of Florida, won the race here last November and is hoping to be a repeat winner for the runner-up in the 2013 championship.
It's a clean slate starting next week and every member of the CTIC China organization will be ready for the challenge of the ten month journey that will make up the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship tour.
Both qualifying and the Grand Prix can be followed live by going to the official site of the tour at www.f1h2o.com on Friday, March 14th and Saturday, March 15th.
Be In The Know - With F1 H2O!