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F1 Sixth place for Jay Price in Liuzhou race qualifying

2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Liuzhou - October 11th-12th, round 5 of 8

For immediate release
Saturday, October 11th, 2008

QATAR'S PRICE QUALIFIES SIXTH
FOR F1 GRAND PRIX OF LIUZHOU

Qatar's Price dominates both time trial sessions on the Li River
Qatar's Al-Khulaifi qualifies in 15th place for maiden Chinese race

LIUZHOU (China): The Qatar Team 's Jay Price will start Sunday's Grand Prix of Liuzhou from sixth position on the grid after Saturday afternoon's time trials and shoot-out session on the Li River in China. Pole Position for the fifth round of this year's UIM F1 World Championship fell to the defending World Champion Sami Selio with a winning lap of 35.33s.

Price, who holds a 10-point lead in the prestigious eight-round championship, dominated both time trial sessions on the Li River and qualified on top of the lap times for the six-boat shoot-out session. Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi set the 19th fastest time in the opening time trial, but improved with a best lap of 38.27s to qualify for Sunday's race in 15th position.

In addition to Price, Team Abu Dhabi's Ahmed Al-Hameli, Italy's Guido Cappellini, Abu Dhabi's Thani Al-Qamzi, reigning World Champion Sami Selio, and Australian David Trask qualified for the shoot-out to determine the final starting order at the top of the grid and the distribution of pole position championship points.

Trask was first on to the water in his GTR and laid down the gauntlet with a second lap of 36.04s. Then it was the turn of the defending champion and the flying Finn edged inside the Australian's time with a potent lap of 35.33s. Al-Qamzi had made the shoot-out in the last 15 minutes of the second time trial and the UAE driver posted a 35.36s tour to move in front of Trask. Cappellini was only able to post a best lap of 35.85s, Al-Hameli edged into third with 35.54s, but Price was not able to reproduce his time trial form on this occasion and set the sixth fastest tour of 36.56s after a frenetic shoot-out competition.

"Jay has made an excellent start to the weekend's racing," said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. "It would have been nice to win the shoot-out but his pace today bodes well for an exciting race on Sunday. The aim is for him to finish in the top three."

Price was the man to beat in the first of the two time trials. He set the provisional pole-winning lap of 36.05s, 0.29 seconds clear of Al-Hameli. It was a superb early performance by the Qatar team driver, with Cappellini, Selio, Sweden's Jonas Andersson and Al-Qamzi rounding off the top six. Yousef Al-Khulaifi ran for 17 laps and posted the 19th quickest time of the 21 starters, with a hot lap of 40.03s.

But it was crucial that Price could retain his front-running position in the all-important second time trials on the Li River on Saturday afternoon. He was out on the water early in the second session and had soon extended his advantage at the top of the lap times' leader board with a stunning tour of 35.55s. Al-Hameli also improved with a 35.63s lap and retained second position, while Cappellini, Selio, Andersson and Al-Qamzi completed the all-important top six in the opening minutes of the second 45-minute session on the 1.5km course.

As the session progressed Australia's David Trask lapped in 36.56s and moved into the top six at the expense of Al-Qamzi, with Andersson demoted to sixth place. Al-Khulaifi was improving all the time in the second Qatar boat and a lap time of 38.27s lifted the Doha driver to 15th in the provisional rankings, a position he would hold to the finish.

The final 15 minutes of the session were critical: Price went back on to the water after running for just three laps early on, although Selio missed the first 37 minutes of the session. He was hoping that his best lap time of 36.55s - set in the first time trial - would be enough to see him into the shoot-out.

With 12 minutes left he retained fourth place, but Al-Qamzi leapt back into the top six with 10 minutes remaining. The Abu Dhabi driver posted a lap of 36.50s. It was enough to push Selio down to fifth place, Andersson out of the top six and set up a nervous final nine minutes for the rest of the top six. It was Selio's cue to head out on to the course. He still maintained sixth place and was a mere 0.1 seconds in front of Trask, but there were no major place changes  in the closing minutes as the leading six prepared for the shoot-out.

A focused Price had been quickest in the first free practice session on Saturday morning. The Qatar Team driver ran for 24 laps and posted a quickest tour of 36.09s, with Cappellini a mere 0.1 seconds behind. Al-Hameli, Andersson, Al-Qamzi and Italian Massimo Roggiero were the closest challengers. Al-Khulaifi was 14th.
 
Sunday's Grand Prix of Liuzhou fires into life at 15.30hrs (10.30am Doha time), although teams will be permitted a second 45-minute practice session on the short course on Sunday morning.
     
2008 Grand Prix of Liuzhou - Shoot-out results
1. Sami Selio (FIN)   Woodstock Red Devil Racing  35.33s  
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE)  F1 Team Abu Dhabi   35.36s
3. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE)  F1 Team Abu Dhabi   35.54s 
4. Guido Cappellini (I)   Tamoil F1    35.85s
5. David Trask (AUS)   Trask Brothers Racing  36.04s
6. Jay Price (QA)   Qatar Team   36.56s 
 
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Pole Position (positions after round 5 of 8):
1. Guido Cappellini (I)   Tamoil F1     73 pts
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE)  F1 Team Abu Dhabi    63 pts
3. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE)  F1 Team Abu Dhabi    62 pts 
4.  Jonas Andersson (S)  F1 Team Sweden     41 pts 
5. Sami Selio (FIN)   Woodstock Red Devil Racing  39 pts 
6. Jay Price (QA)   Qatar Team   24 pts 
7. David Trask (AUS)   Trask Brothers Racing  21 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

For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

www.qmsf.org
www.f1boat.com

Date issued: 11/10/2008

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