ABU DHABI - Sunday, February 8 - Despite winning the World Team Title of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship for a second straight season in 2014, the Qatar Team is in full preparation mode, getting ready to launch their two drivers back to the top of the World Drivers Championship standings beginning at their home opening race on Doha Bay on the 13th and 14th of March and the Grand Prix of Qatar.
The organization, running in conjunction with the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), started in 2006 and thus, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary season, as it hosts the opening round of the 2015 campaign at the pristine setting along corniche on the Gulf.
There is tremendous pride that goes along with this group, as the Qatar Team will be looking to extend its winning streak at their home Grand Prix having not lost since since opening race of 2012 season on the circuit.
This professionally run group, is lead by Team Manager Khalid Al Kuwari. Joining him is his engine guru and Race Manager Brendan Power who has engineered four world titles in the past seven seasons.
The Qatar Team's breakthrough came in 2008 when American driver Jay Price earned the first title in 2008 for the club followed then by Italian youngster Alex Carella who won three straight championships from 2011 thru 2013 making it the most successful organization in the world of F1 powerboat racing in recent memory.
Having lost the drivers title at the final race of 2014 to the CTIC China Team and their talented pilot in Philippe Chiappe, who took his first career championship in his 12th season of racing, the race team from Doha wants to get both Alex and teammate Shaun Torrente back to where they were in 2013, finishing in the top two places in the drivers championship table.
With that goal in mind, the news from the club couldn't be much more encouraging.
Starting, with the arrival of the new and latest 2015 DAC race hull, expected to be in Doha in time for thorough testing before the opener in mid-March. The drivers keys to the new hull will be handed over to Florida pilot Shaun Torrente, getting his hands on the latest creation from Como, Italy as he starts his fourth season with the team.
The driver, who hails from Miami and now makes his home in Cape Coral on the West Coast of the state, has just signed a new four year extension on his current contract guaranteeing him employment with the team into the 2020 season.
"I'm really excited about the new boat," said Shaun. "It is a continuing evolution of the F1 design that has won the title five of the last seven years. We think we have the latest technology that will hopefully steer us down the right path for a shot at the title and as a team, we want it back for 2015 in the worst way."
While the weather in a lot of the Northern Hemisphere is typical for this time of year, cold and snowy, the Qatar Team has had the luxury of testing in warm waters of their secret testing facility in Central Florida. The past few days has seen the team busy as they have continued to tweak their set-up for the "home opening" race in Doha that is now less than five weeks away.
"Granted, we had both of drivers in a position to win last years title at the final event in Sharjah," stated Brendan Power. "However, we got beat by a great team in the CTIC China group, but, saying this, it only makes us more determined than ever to reverse our bad luck last year and put our drivers back on top again starting in Doha.
The circuit on Doha Bay maybe the most challenging of the season as it is rough and that's the way our drivers like it. It should be a great way to start 2015."
The new 32nd season of the worlds most challenging racing series on water, the UIM F1 H2O World Championship kicks off with the openly exposed circuit on the Gulf in downtown Doha on the 13th and 14th of March.
Race teams with drivers from more than 14 countries are expected in the paddock lead by the CTIC China group that won their first international racing trophy for the Peoples Republic.
French pilot Philippe Chiappe took the crown with 70 points on the campaign highlighted by back-to-back victories in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. It was his first title and first for the country of France in the history of F1 powerboat racing that is four decades old.
Now, with two-time Champion Sami Selio of Finland ready to go for his third title after finishing fourth in the standings, along with the always strong Team Abu Dhabi organization with talented veteran Thani Al Qamzi and his close friend and teammate Ahmed Al Hameli chasing their dreams of a first title just to name a few, the new season looks to be once again something special.
It all comes down to this; new venues, new drivers and new challenges making 2015 look like a year that will once again spotlight the UIM F1 H2O World Championship as THE sports series to follow worldwide on water!
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