In just his second race, Qatar Team driver Terry Rinker, who resides in Florida, finished second overall in Friday afternoon’s 34-lap Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 2012 Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) F1 H2O World Championship on the United Arab Emirates’ Khalid Lagoon.
Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al-Qamzi finished two seconds ahead of Rinker, clinching the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship for Team Abu Dhabi. The shortened race was yellow-flagged on three occasions but each time Rinker was unable to overtake Al-Qamzi, who held on to record his first win of the season.
“It was a wonderful experience coming here in filling in as a driver for the outstanding Qatar Team,” said Rinker, a multi-time national champion in various classes. “I am overjoyed with the drive and working with so many fellows I know back home, including my radioman and old partner in Brendan Power. We are like ‘meat and potatoes’ after being together for so many years. Just like silk. Got the job done and had fun doing it at the same time. That’s what it is all about.”
Italy’s Francesco Cantando edged out Sweden’s Jonas Andersson to take third place, while Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe confirmed the runner-up spot in the Drivers’ World Championship with sixth position behind rival Sami Selio of Finland. Qatar Team driver Alex Carella, who clinched the world championship last week in Abu Dhabi, was forced to start 18th because of engine problems in the morning warm up. He managed to get up to 11th overall, but eventually dropped out on lap 14.
“It’s disappointing not to claim the clean sweep of all four trophies, but I am so pleased for Terry Rinker on a superb race today,” said Khalid bin Arhama AL-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, which runs under the presidency of Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. “He pushed Thani Al-Qamzi all the way and we must not forget that he was using an old boat from 2009 and this was only his second race with our team.”