SHARJAH,UAE – Friday, December 10, 2010 – Finnish driver Sami Selio got the start he needed and waltzed into second place with less than ten laps to go to earn his second World Title in four years by coming from behind and outscoring American Jay Price of the Qatar Team 94-92 for the closest race for the World Championship since 2000 on the UIM F1 H2O World Championship for power boating at the 12th Grand Prix of Sharjah.
The Mad Croc Team ended the day celebrating the Team Championship, Driver World Championship and Rookie-Of-The-Year Championship for teammate Alex Carella as the Italian came home in third place to seal third in the championship as well. The team completed a rare “hat-trick” for the season as they dominated the eight race season at the season's conclusion in front of thousands of race fans along the corniche on the Kaleed Lagoon.
Almost forgotten in all the drama for the championship was race winner Ahmad Al Hameli winning from the front moving from second to first on the opening lap and cruising home winning by a comfortable margin for the first time in his home country and taking his second victory of the season and the third of his career in his BABA Team Abu Dhabi boat.
“I am so happy for my team and my boat today, everything worked perfectly and it all fell into place,” said Ahmad. “Now I want to take this momentum and take it into next season and run for the title and give the team a first championship since the 2006 season.”
For Selio, it was the second time in the last four years that he captured the top rung in the championship having won it also from behind in 2007 while coming into today's event four points back of American driver Jay Price of the Qatar Team that had to settle for fourth just missing a second championship himself.
“It was a great day for the team and everyone involved in our program this season,” said Selio. “From Alex our engine builder in Canada to our multi-national crew to my teammate who did a super job this season, I will long look back at this one as one of my proudest moments. Now, it's time to enjoy the holidays and return home with smiles all around on a job well done.”
The driver of the Qatar Team, Jay, was hoping for more but he knew he was outnumbered on the circuit this afternoon. “I did my best today, said Jay. “There were a couple of times when I got right up on Sami but couldn't make it stick. We'll be ready to go in March for the first race more determined to get the title back you better believe it.”
Sweden's Jonas Andersson finished a solid fifth in his Azerbaijan entry and ninth in the championship, while Thani Al Qamzi was sixth for Team Abu Dhabi and fourth on the season.
German Fabian Kalsow was seventh on another good run for him with Marit Stromoy taking another top ten in eighth with Swede Pierre Lundin steering his CTIC China boat to ninth and rounding out the top 10 was Philippe Tourre of France.
The 2010 UIM F1 H2O season has come to a close and now get's geared up for it's 31st campaign expected to start in mid-March in lovely Doha Bay in Doha, Qatar. Sami Selio will hoping for a third title but there will be a lot of pursuers after his crown. It just keeps rolling along for the greatest series on water the UIM F1 H2O World Championship for powerboating.
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