Topping the Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H20 ranks, Alex Carella received his fourth World Championship title during the organization’s awards dinner at the Sporting Club Monte-Carlo last night. The award was one of several bestowed by the powerboat racing’s international sanctioning body during the evening’s festivities, which attracted more than 400 guests from 60 nations according to a U.I.M. press release.
Said Carella (holding trophy), “Last year was an amazing memory for me to win the world title at the last race in the U.A.E.”
The Italian secured Team Abu Dhabi’s first title since 2006 with an emphatic victory at the final race in Sharjah last December before announcing at the recent Dubai Boat Show that he will drive for the Victory Team in 2018, the release stated.
“Last year was an amazing memory for me to win the world title at the last race in the UAE,” said Carella. “I had a great fight with Philippe (Chiappe) and to win the race from pole position was fantastic. It was a special moment for me and for Team Abu Dhabi and, perhaps, the most satisfying of my career. I had the lead but I knew that anything could happen in 50 laps and, when Philippe climbed back to third place, I knew I had to win. It was tight until the last second.
“I thank Abu Dhabi for their efforts,” he added. “ It was a fantastic time in my career to be part of that team. It was time to move on and now I am with the Victory Team and this is a fantastic opportunity for me again. There are two extra races this year as well, so there are more opportunities to win races.”
On the F2 side, Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi received his prestigious U.I.M. F2 World Championship trophy. Driving in only his second full season of F2 races, the Emirati running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) “rocked the establishment with his stunning performance” in 2017, according to the release.
“I enjoyed my first full season in F2 last year, but my main focus last year, and in 2018, was and will be in F2,” said Rashed Al-Qemzi in the release. “The team was so happy to complete the F1 and F2 championship goals last season, but we have even more targets this year, which we will be working on in the coming weeks.
“I have tested a lot already in Abu Dhabi for the new season with the Formula boats,” he continued. “We have learned a lot. I hope that we will achieve the same goal this year in F2 that we did last year. We have big entries already confirmed in F2 for 2018 and it will be even harder to qualify and do well in the races. I will have to push even harder in the pole position.”
A young Swedish racer, 15-year-old Adam Wrenkler also was a winner last night as he took home the prestigious His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan—Abu Dhabi Trophy for his achievements in the 2017 UIM Circuit GT15 category. According to the release, the award was donated by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.
Wrenkler began his powerboat-racing career in 2011 before moving from Junior 15 to GT15 in 2012. In 2017, he won 70 percent of his races and plans to race in the GT30 class this year.