Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi broke the hearts of the local spectators on the Douro River in Ribadouro when he snatched pole position from the grasp of their sporting hero Duarte Benavente.
The Portuguese driver had set a time of 43.34 seconds around the fast Douro River circuit but in the space of just one lap the reigning UIM F2 World Champion from the UAE secured his first pole position since the Danish Grand Prix.
Guido Cappellini, the teams Principal had told him he had one lap to take it and don’t make any mistakes.
Al Qemzi said after setting pole:
I never saw a time like that in Free Practice, my good friend Attilio selected the propeller moments before I went out to do my lap and he chose right.
Benavente wasn’t so downhearted.
Yesterday, when I listed the drivers to keep an eye on I forgot to mention Al Qemzi!
When you consider that I’m racing a six-year-old boat that probably weighs fifty kilos more than the DAC that beat me, well I can live with that for the moment.
Because of the angle of the start pontoon, which doesn’t give the man sat in pole position a huge advantage, Benavente is not so concerned about being left behind at the start.
It’s going to be more important to come out of that first turn with your boat the right way up.