KIEV (Ukraine): Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi will start Saturday afternoon’s Grand Prix of Ukraine from seventh position after a thrilling qualifying session on the Kiev Sea course on Friday afternoon. But team-mate and championship leader Ahmed Al-Hameli will face a race against time to be ready for action after flipping his boat near the end of the Q3 session.
Al-Hameli, bidding to defend an eight-point lead in the 2012 UIM F1 H20 World Championship, swapped lap times with his Qatar Team rivals Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente throughout the day and was faced with having to beat Sami Selio’s time of 51.88s to secure pole position. But he flipped his boat at high-speed and will now start behind his main rivals on Saturday. Al-Qamzi was not able to post a top three time and will start Saturday’s race from seventh position, with former World Champion Selio on pole and the Qatar boats in second and third.
Only two of the 17 boats would be eliminated in Q1 and Al-Hameli all but confirmed his place in Q2 with a stunning early lap of 53.88s. Al-Qamzi slotted into fifth behind his team-mate, the two Qatar boats and Finland’s Sami Selio and the Team Abu Dhabi pair finished Q1 in the same positions. Brett Stuart and Rinaldo Osculati were eliminated.
Five of the surviving 15 boats would disappear after Q2. Al-Hameli posted his intentions from the outset with a potent lap of 54.39s to storm to the top of the leader board and virtually assure his place in Q3. Al-Qamzi also confirmed his place in Q3 in eighth, but Ivan Brigada, Filip Roms, Marit Stromoy, Duarte Benavente and Jonas Andersson were all elminated.
Italy’s Francesco Cantando posted the early target time of 55 seconds but Al-Qamzi was not able to sneak inside the Italian’s time and posted a 55.58s lap. Kuwaiti Yousef Al-Rubayan moved into the provisional pole with a second lap of 53.83s, as six drivers waited to take part in the shoot-out.