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Chiappe beats Stromoy, takes pole for AD GP
December 08, 2017
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ABU DHABI: Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella qualified in third position for Friday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, the penultimate round of the 2017 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, where outright victory would confirm the Italian’s fourth world title and put him in joint second position alongside former Team Abu Dhabi driver Scott Gillman in the sport’s Hall of Fame.

Carella posted a fastest lap of 43.02sec in a nail biting qualifying session off the Abu Dhabi Breakwater, where several drivers battled for fractions of a second to gain a crucial advantage to take into the 25th race to be hosted by the Abu Dhabi International Sports Club (ADIMSC) since the start of the 1993 season.

Triple World Champion Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC Shenzhen China Team left it until his last lap to register a winning time of 42.83sec and deprived a flying Norwegian Marit Stromoy of a second career pole position.

Eight-tenths of a second separated the top six with Victory Team’s Shaun Torrente finishing fourth, ahead of Carella’s closest title rival Erik Stark and Emirati Ahmed Al-Hameli.

Carella said: “It was not the best qualifying for me. We made some mistakes. I got a bit lost in my rhythm on my best lap.

“I guess I am ahead of Erik, but I am behind Philippe now. That is not perfect, but it will be a long and difficult race with this water. Marit is a very good driver and I am pleased for her that she delivered such a great performance.”

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi belied his lack of F1 experience to set some scintillating lap times and was rewarded with eighth place on the pontoon for Friday’s race.

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