20 year old Alberto Comparato has laid down a marker to his older rivals in the 2018 UIM F2 World Championship – He means business!
After seizing a stunning pole yesterday, Comparato was never challenged in today’s race in Lithuania and led from lights to flag.
The slightly delayed race was scheduled for 38 laps in baking heat and ideal conditions and 20 boats lined up on the start pontoon with Ola Pettersson replacing Mansoor Al-Mansoori.
Both Team Abu Dhabi boats made a superb start, as Philippe Tourre stuttered off the pontoon at the rear of the field and Comparato maintained his lead from Hagin and Riabko.
Both Rashed Al-Qemzi and Rashed Al-Tayer passed Tobias Munthe-Kaas and moved up to fourth and fifth, but Ferdinand Zandbergen failed to start.
The race was yellow-flagged after three laps when Spaniard Héctor Sanz Lopez flipped out of contention.
The Riba Roja d’Ebre driver had already climbed from 19th to 14th when he crashed.
Action resumed and the top five held station through the subsequent few laps with Comparato running ahead of Hagin by a little over two seconds through 15 laps.
Munthe-Kaas managed to overtake Al-Tayer and snatch fifth place on lap 16 but Al-Tayer leapt into the air and retired after losing the boat’s cowling.
After another brief yellow flag interruption, racing resumed again with Comparato leading from Hagin, Riabko, Al-Qemzi and Munthe-Kaas, but Riabko delighted his home fans by overtaking Hagin to snatch second place on lap 21.
By lap 28, the gap between the leader and Riabko was 1.75 seconds with Hagin running in a close third and Al-Qemzi maintaining a distant fourth.
The procession continued through 33 laps and the top five held station to the chequered flag with Comparato claiming the win from Riabko (below) by the margin of 3.47 seconds.
Hagin finished third and Al-Qemzi was fourth.
2018 Grand Prix of Lithuania – result:
1. Alberto Comparato (ITA) 38 laps
2. Edgaras Riabko (LIT) @3.47sec
3. Stefan Hagin (DEU) @4.91sec
4. Rashed Al-Qemzi (UAE) @19.03sec
5. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) @21.10sec
6. Brent Dillard (USA) @21.81sec
7. Daniel Segenmark (SWE) @27.16sec
8. Duarte Benavente (PRT) @31.97sec
9. Oskar Samuelsson (SWE) @44.85sec
10. Mette Bjerknaes (SWE) @48.47sec
11. Frode Sundsdal (NOR) @52.31sec
12. Johan Österberg (SWE) L1
13. Owen Jelf (GBR) L1
14. Ola Pettersson (SWE) L1
15. Uvis Slakteris (LVA) L1
16. Philippe Tourre (FRA) L2
Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE) DNF
Bimba Sjöholm (SWE) DNF
Héctor Sanz Lopez (ESP) DNF
Ferdinand Zandbergen (DEU) DNS
Top Photo: Emanuela Procaccini