F1 Qatar Team faces crucial Chinese challenge in Liuzhou
2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Liuzhou - October 11th-12th, round 5 of 8
For immediate release
Sunday, October 5th, 2008
QATAR'S PRICE FACES CRUCIAL
F1 RACE CHALLENGE IN LIUZHOU
Qatar's promising Yousef Al-Khulaifi set for first race in China
Khalid Al-Kuwari takes over as Qatar's Head of Formula Racing
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Team heads to Liuzhou in China this weekend (October 11th12th) to tackle the fifth round of the prestigious 2008 UIM F1 World Championship. Team driver Jay Price currently holds a 10-point outright lead in the eight-round championship and the Doha-based Qatar Team leads the Teams' Championship by eight points.
Price will be joined in China by Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi, who made his F1 race debut in Doha back in March and has already claimed championship points this season after an impressive start to his career in the top flight of world powerboat racing.
There have also been changes within the Qatar Marine Sport's Federation's (QMSF) hierarchy during the three-month summer lay-off in the race calendar. Board member Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari has replaced Mohammed Al-Jaidah as Head of the Formula Team and is relishing his new role within the federation. Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali remains as team manager and Brendan Power retains the crucial role of mechanic chief and the man in charge of engine development. The team is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
"It promises to be an exciting and very important race for the Qatar Team," enthused Al-Kuwari. "We will have two race boats for Jay and Yousef. There has been no time for testing, but our goal in Liuzhou is to retain the lead in the World Championship. Jay is only 10 points ahead of Jonas Andersson, but we must remember that Jay is an experienced driver and a determined fighter. We are well prepared for the pair of Chinese races and have a new DAC boat with strong engines."
Price realises the importance of maintaining the momentum as the second half of the season gets underway. Sweden's Andersson may be his closest challenger, but Abu Dhabi's Ahmed Al-Hameli, multiple World Champion Guido Cappellini and defending World Champion Sami Selio are within striking distance if the Qatar Team driver hits problems in China.
"Our boat has been in Italy being repaired after the two accidents in Finland," admitted Price, who is based in New Orleans between races and has survived his own fair share of drama over the summer months, with the much-publicised hurricane season affecting the area where he lives once again.
"In my time off, apart from dodging hurricanes, I have been riding my Harley, jet skiing and exercising every day to stay fit and sharp for the rest of the season. The goal for the Chinese race is a podium finish. It is important that we do finish and I score some points."
The Qatar Team endured a run of cruel luck during the two F1 races in China last year, but Price is not phased by history. "Last year's Chinese problems were caused by my flip in Doha. The electrics had shorted out and we did not find the problem on the boat until the final race in Sharjah."
Price is hoping for rough weather, as his attacking driving style is better suited to tricky water conditions. "I know the race course is short and tight, but that is all. Jonas will be up for this one, Guido is always fast, Ahmad is really getting the feel of his BaBa boat now and Thani Al-Qamzi has a new DAC boat and has been testing. You can never rule out Sami (Selio) either, so it should be a great race."
Liuzhou is known as the Dragon City and is situated in the middle of the Guanxi province in the south-west region of China. The city is hosting an F1 race for the first time, although this will be the eighth F1 race in China since 1995.
The weekend's action gets underway on Friday, October 10th with technical scrutineering and team registration, although the competitive action begins at 10.00hrs (local time) on Saturday morning with the free practice session. The first time trials get underway at 13.00hrs, with the crucial second time trials starting at 14.45hrs and followed by the six-boat shoot-out to determine pole position.
Sunday's (October 12th) Grand Prix of Liuzhou starts at 15.30hrs, although teams will be permitted a second 45-minute practice session on the short course from 10.45hrs.
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Drivers (positions after round 4 of 8):
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 50 pts
2. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 40 pts
3. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 28 pts
4. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 Team 27 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 27 pts
6. Pierre Lundin (S) China CTIC Team 22 pts
7. Fabio Comporato (I) 800 Doctor Team 19 pts
8. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 17 pts
9. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 15 pts, etc
16. Yousef Al-Khulaifi (QA) Qatar Team 3 pts
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Pole Position (positions after round 4 of 8):
1. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 64 pts
2. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 50 pts
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 48 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 41 pts
5. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 19 pts
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 19 pts
7. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 14 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha Team 7 pts
9=. Massimo Roggiero (I) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 5 pts
9=. Phillipe Chiappe (F) Atlantic Team 5 pts
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Teams (positions after round 4 of 8):
1. Qatar Team 50 pts
2. F1 Team Sweden 42 pts
3. Tamoil F1 36 pts
4. China CTIC Team 35 pts
5. F1 Team Abu Dhabi 28 pts
5. Woodstock Red Devil Racing 28 pts
7. F1 Atlantic Team 24 pts
8. Trask Brothers Racing 23 pts
9. Doctor 800 19 pts
10. Singha Team 14 pts
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).