Benavente Bound for Belgium

As part of the build up to the second round of the UIM Formula 2 World Championship we had a look back at the last time Antwerp, in Belgium held an international powerboat race, which, believe it or not was seventeen years ago.

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Belgium is Back

With just ten days to go till qualifying gets under way for the Belgium Grand Prix, Antwerp is getting ready to host one of the largest entries ever seen in the UIM F2 Powerboat World Championship. One man, who is looking forward to welcoming teams from fourteen different nations, will the President of the Fédération Belge Motonautique (FBM), Jean-Marie Van Lancker.

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Al Qemzi Crowned King of Kaunas

Over the past few years the opening rounds of the UIM F2 World Championships have provided the series with some unfamiliar names on the winners trophy; 2016 Alberto Comparato, 2014 Peter Morin, being just two of them. So no one should really be surprised that Team Abu Dhabi driver, Rashed Al Qemzi, has now joined that list of talented drivers getting their season off to a prefect start.

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Comfortable For Comparato

The Sunday ‘lunch-time’ repercharge certainly proved eventful for the seven boats that lined up in the last-chance shoot out for the UIM F2 Lithuanian Grand Prix. Just four places on the Grand Prix grid needed to be filled but in a dramatic first turn crash both Simone Schuft and Fabrice Boulier were eliminated. As the field headed towards the turn, the French driver hit the rear end of Schuft’s Moore hull and barrel rolled over the top of her. “I could see him in the mirrors, his speed was very fast as we approached the turn” said Schuft. “The next thing I hear is a bang and my steering is broken, so I couldn’t continue. I’m sorry because we had found the ideal set up, so I promise a better show in Belgium.”

After the restart Mette Bjerknaes headed back to the pontoon in her poorly handling Moore hull, to make matters worse she had lost her radio antennae. She could still make the Grand Prix though as Duarte Benavente has found a leak in his fuel tank which could see him not start.

With just four boats remaining the pressure was now off leaving Alberto Comparato to cross the line in first place followed by Uvis Slakteris, Mohamed Al Mehairbi and Harri Lehti.