Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi this weekend secured his 4th World F2 Championship Title at the Grand Prix of Peso Da Régua at the penultimate round of the 2023 Championship.
The champion’s campaign wasn’t without incident when he crashed out during free practice at the Peso Da Régua Grand Prix.
The championship campaign started for the World Champion in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda in August. Rashed qualified for the Grand Prix of Klaipeda in 4th place but was determined to start the championship campaign off to a flyer with the top podium spot.
In a jam-packed calendar, the championship moved to Italy and the San Nazzaro Grand Prix. The championship leader quickly got down to business, securing the second Pole Position of the season, and had the World Title firmly in his sights. As the lights went out for the second race of the season Rashed was like a rocket off the start and led the race from start to finish to secure the second win of the season in a faultless performance.
Heading into the third round of the championship, the 3 times World Champion needed just a 4th place finish to secure another World Title to his list of racing achievements.
Things weren’t to go smoothly for the racer when a third of the way into the Saturday mornings free practice session he barrel rolled out of the session leaving his team a race against the clock to have the boat ready for the Qualifying session in the afternoon.
Qualification dawned, and ever the professionals, the Abu Dhabi Team had the boat and Rashed back on the water with minutes to spare. As the 30-minute session got underway, it wasn’t long before Rashed was making his way up the table and into the top 6 for the final session of the day. Rashed qualified in second and was ready to get down to business in the Grand Prix Race.
Heading into the race, Rashed knew a 4th place finish or higher would see him crowned F2 World Champion for the 4th time. As the lights went out for the 50 lap race, the fleet of 15 boats powered away from the pontoon in a cloud of spray and went hurtling into the first turn.
It was pole position Edgaras Riabko that held the lead out the first turn but Rashed was sitting comfortably in second and got down to business manoeuvring his way around the course to take the Grand Prix silver medal and the 2023 UIM F2 World Championship crown.
On claiming the World Title Rashed Al Qemzi had this to say “I’m very happy to take silver today and with it the World Championship. From second place off the start, I knew I just had to remain calm and get the job done.”
He continued “We still have another race to go, but I can relax and enjoy that race as I’ve achieved what we set out to do. I am very happy and also for my team to be F2 World Champions again!”
Rashed Al Qemzi adds his 2023 Title to his three existing World Championships secured in 2021, 2019, and 2017.
His attentions now turn to the final race of the season in Vila Velha de Ródão, Portugal, on the 23rd and 24th of September.
A huge congratulations to Team Abu Dhabi and Rashed “The Rocket” Al Qemzi on a fantastic achievement and some awesome racing.