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Mar 16, 2014 - 03:43 PM
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Carella Wins For First Time on Home Waters in Doha!
Posted by: newsla on Mar 16, 2014 - 03:39 PM
Carella Wins For First Time on Home Waters in Doha!

Italian three-time defending World Champion Alex Carella of the Qatar Team vindicated last seasons disappointment by winning the opening round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship for powerboating and taking his first step in chasing history searching for four straight titles at the Grand Prix of Qatar on Saturday.


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The 28 year-old driver from Piacenza looked to be watching his teammate Shaun Torrente win for the second straight year on the home waters of Doha Bay as he sat in second place, but the young Florida driver from Miami had his boat fill with smoke and catch fire briefly when on the 31st lap of the 40 lap event ending his dreams of victory.

Shaun's power steering failed him as he was forced to quickly drive the boat off the circuit to the waiting safety personnel along the launch pontoon to put out the smoke and ending his hopes of glory and putting Torrente in the "hot seat" in his hopes of winning his first title at the same time.

Carella, who was leading the race a year ago here before his engine expired with just two laps to go handing the win to Torrente, picked up his ninth career victory and earned 20 points and take the early lead in the championship.

"I feel sorry for my teammate Shaun today, but really both of us had a great package and it was nice to see we could run up front and control the race for all forty laps," said Alex. "It's an important day not only for me but for the whole Qatar Team because winning here is important and it's a great kickstart for another successful season with the club."

Alex had a fortunate day while his challengers for the title struggled beginning with Finnish driver Sami Selio of the Mad Croc Team who started from pole and only lasted one lap before he pulled off down on the west end of the circuit and no points in Doha for the second straight season.

Fastest qualifier Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden had his day go from bad to worse when first in the morning his engine broke forcing him to the back of the grid starting and only lasting two laps before his day came to an end.

French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team kept his streak alive by taking second place and reaching the podium for his fifth straight race that he's finished in a row.

"It was a solid day for us in less than ideal conditions," said the driver from Rouen. "It was rough but we still managed to hang on and take a much needed second place and it's great to take a podium at a race that last year I was disqualified from and lost my podium last November."

Meanwhile Duarte Benavente of Portugal reached his first podium in 36 races for the F1 GC Atlantic Team by coming home a solid third place in his BABA boat that he seems to enjoy more and more race after race.

"I'm really feeling confident with my race set-up as we qualified a solid seventh and now taking the podium for the first time since 2009, I'm truly looking forward to the next race in the season," said the driver from Lisbon.

Just missing the podium was 18 year racing veteran Francesco Cantando who competed in his 145th start moving to second all-time in Grand Prix starts sliding into fourth for his newly sponsored Motorglass F1 Team.

The youngest driver on the tour was fifth with Finnish pilot Filip Roms taking his career best result as he continues to impress more and more at each event for the Mad Croc Team.

Norway's Marit Stromoy charged from ninth to take sixth in her Team Nautica boat ahead of young Chinese driver Ziwei "Leo" Xiong who's seventh was a career best for the CTIC China driver.

Polish pilot Bartek Marszalek reached the top ten with his eighth place position for the fourth time in his last five races for the Motorglass Team being the final driver to complete the event.

The first round of the 2014 UIM F1 H2O World Championship goes to the young Italian Carella as he leads the points to start off the year hoping to tie legend and Hall-of-Fame driver Guido Cappellini's four straight world titles from 1993 to 1996.

If his home race was any indication Carella and his teammate Torrente who are expecting new updated boats in the near future from the DAC race plant in Como, Italy will make the season even more challenging for the other drivers eyeing their own championship dreams for 2014.

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