Frode Sundsdal and his team are to be congratulated on their Tonsberg promotion, round 3 of the 2017 UIM World F2 championship. A star studded line-up of guests visited Tonsberg during the event including Norway’s Prime Minister (pictured left), Erna Solberg, UIM President Raffaelle Chuilli and Norway’s number one F1 driver Marit Stromoy. The Norwegian meeting was in stark contrast to the Antwerp debacle the week before which was cancelled following foul weather and technical issues.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi secured a vital podium finish in an enthralling 45-lap EDH Tønsberg Båtrace, round three of the 2017 UIM F2 World Championship, in Norway on Sunday afternoon. The driver running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) came into the weekend’s racing with a championship lead of five points, and was able to extend that to an unofficial 12 points with a fine third overall in a race that was won by Sweden’s defending champion Pierre Lundin after he overtook the Russian New Star driver Konstantin Ustinov with just two laps remaining.
Sweden’s Erik Edin led from start-to-finish through two yellow flags, but was docked one lap for a jump-start and slipped out of the top 10. Fellow Swede Ola Pettersson finished fourth and Frenchman Nelson Morin rounded off the top five. Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi finished eighth in the Repocharge race and missed out on the main race.
A podium finish for Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi in third
The fastest four drivers in Sunday’s Repocharge race were permitted to join the quickest 10 from qualifying in the main race. Edgaras Riabko won the Repocharge to take his place in the Grand Prix alongside David Del Pin, Alberto Comparato and Owen Jelf. Al-Mehairbi finished eighth and missed out on the main race, where Tobias Munthe-Kaas lined up on the start pontoon ahead of Lundin and Al-Qemzi.
Edin jumped the start from fourth place as the leaders safely negotiated the first turn, and Al-Qemzi moved into second place, Munthe-Kaas slipped from pole to sixth, and Bisterfeld survived a spin. Edin continued to pull away from Al-Qemzi, Lundin, Rupert Temper and Ustinov, but the threat of a one-lap penalty loomed over the Swede as he began lap four. The leading drivers held station until a yellow flag was raised following a sixth lap accident involving Temper. Edin was indeed docked a lap and Al-Qemzi inherited the lead from Lundin under the yellow flag.
Racing resumed on lap 12 and Lundin began to pressurise Al-Qemzi over the next two laps until the Swede slipped behind Ustinov and into third place heading into lap 16. Ola Pettersson and Munthe-Kaas rounded off the top five. The yellow flag was raised again on lap 18 when pole winner Munthe-Kaas flipped over and retired, the only Norwegian boat in the final.
Fourteen boats remained in action and racing restarted with 23 of the 45 laps remaining. Ustinov managed to pass Al-Qemzi and take the lead at the restart and the Emirati was also overtaken by Lundin and slipped to third. New Star’s Ustinov led from Lundin, Al-Qemzi, Pettersson and Nelson Morin with 15 laps remaining, although Lundin stayed on the Russian’s rooster tail through the next few laps, as Al-Qemzi began to lose ground on the leading duo.
Ustinov led Lundin by 1.4 seconds with five laps remaining but was passed by Lundin with two laps left, as Al-Qemzi held on to snatch third and the final place on the podium to extend his lead in the UIM F2 World Championship.
1. Pierre Lundin (SWE) – Lundin F1 Racing
2. Konstantin Ustinov (RUS) – New Star
3. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) – Team Abu Dhabi
4. Ola Pettersson (SWE) – Skåne Racing Team F2
5. Nelson Morin (FRA) – F1 China CTIC Team
6. David Del Pin (ITA) – Tutamarano
7. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) – SF2R
8. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) – OS Racing
9. Alberto Comparato (ITA) – Comparato F2
10. Nick Bisterfeld (DEU) – Bisterfeld Racing
Report: Neil Perkins