F1 Sensational Liuzhou race win for Qatar Team and Jay Price
2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of China (Liuzhou) - October 12th, round 5 of 8
For immediate release
Sunday, October 12th, 2008
QATAR'S PRICE TAKES SENSATIONAL LIUZHOU RACE
WIN TO EXTEND UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi seals stunning sixth position in Liuzhou
Nine boats finish dramatic Chinese race on Liuzhou's Li River
LIUZHOU (China): The Qatar Team's Jay Price clinched a stunning victory in the Grand Prix of China on the Li River in Liuzhou to extend his lead in the UIM F1 World Championship to an unofficial 30 points with three races remaining.
Qatar's DAC driver passed Australian David Trask to take the lead, once early race pace setter and defending World Champion Sami Selio had hit trouble on the tight, six-turn course and slipped out of contention. Trask hung on to take second place, while Italian Fabio Comparato completed the top three in a race where many of the leading championship contenders retired. It was Price's second F1 GP win to follow his Portuguese success in the summer.
Price's team mate Yousef Al-Khulaifi began the Grand Prix from 14th place and kept to an impressive pace throughout to eventually finish in a superb career-best sixth position and claim five prestigious championship points. The feat marked his second points-scoring finish of the season in his maiden year as an F1 driver.
"This is a stunning result for me and the team," said a delighted Price. "It was a superb race. We were the fastest boat all weekend, but I hit a big roller in the shoot-out and that dropped me to sixth on the grid. I always thought we could take a podium finish, but it was not easy. I had a great race with David Trask, but we managed to come through and take the win. Now we have a commanding 30-point lead in the championship. We cannot relax, but it is a good cushion for us with only three races to go."
"I said yesterday that I thought Jay was capable of taking a podium finish from starting sixth," said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, which is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. "But this is the icing on the cake. It was a great all-round team performance and I am delighted for Yousef as well that he claimed such a good finish. It was a superb weekend for the Qatar Team."
Qatar's Price had dominated the time trials and practice sessions, but was forced to start the race from sixth position, as Selio headed the pack into the opening turns under a yellow flag. Qatar's hope for the world title gained a position, however, when Al-Hameli was sidelined. The yellow flag situation soon abated and Selio maintained his lead through lap seven, followed by Cappellini, Trask and Price, although Al-Qamzi was down in ninth and Qatar's Al-Khulaifi was 13th.
The Finn maintained the lead through lap 14, as the chasing pack changed positions, with David Trask and Price holding second and third places, followed by Jonas Andersson and Phillipe Chiappe. Cappellini had joined Al-Qamzi in the wars and slipped out of the running.
The top five held station through lap 24, with Selio running 15.81 seconds in front of Trask and 18.13s ahead of Price. Al-Khulaifi was 10th. Through 30 laps, Selio's advantage had been reduced to 12.62s by Trask, as Price was content to hang on to the Finn's coat tails and preserve third position. Al-Khulaifi was climbing up the leader board to an impressive ninth overall.
Price passed Trask on lap 35 and trailed Selio by 15.47s heading into the crucial final part of the race. Trask held third position, followed by Andersson, Phillipe Chiappe, Italy's Fabio Comparato and Frenchman Phillipe Dessertenne. But drama unfolded on lap 39 and Price hit the front for the first time, as Selio fell down the field, his demise promoting Trask to second overall, Andersson to third and Al-Khulaifi to a points-scoring eighth.
With the exception of Andersson, all Price's rivals were falling by the wayside as the Qatar Team's lead driver edged into a mammouth 20.12 second advantage through lap 45. Andersson was also in trouble on the 45th tour as the drama continued and the Swede slipped to seventh position, his demise promoting Comparato to third place. Price visibly slowed on the subsequent lap and Trask closed to within 9.62 seconds of the Qatar star after 46 laps as a yellow flag was raised again with the rookie Al-Khulaifi up to seventh overall.
The yellow flag situation hardly played into Price's hands and his lead had been whittled down to just over five seconds on the six-turn course by lap 50. Race action eventually resumed on the Li River but Price managed to stay in front to claim his second F1 Grand Prix win and extend his overall lead in the World Championship to 30 points. Trask maintained second position, with Comparato claiming third overall and Al-Khulaifi sealing an excellent career-best sixth place. In an extraordinary race only nine boats finished from the 21 registered drivers.
Jay Price had again been the class of the field in final qualifying on Sunday morning, posting a best lap of 36.27s, with Guido Cappellini and Ahmed Al-Hameli his closest challengers. Yousef Al-Khulaifi was down in 14th position with a quickest lap of 40.72s from his 20-lap stint.
2008 UIM F1 Grand Prix of Liuzhou - race results:
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 50 laps
2. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing @ 12.34 seconds
3. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team @ 25.75 seconds
4. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 1 lap behind
5. Stanislav Kourtsenovsky (RUS) Tamoil F1 Team 1 lap behind
6. Yousef Al-Khulaifi (QA) Qatar Team 2 laps behind
7. Uvis Slakteris (LV) F1 Team Sweden 2 laps behind
8. Bob Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 2 laps behind
9. Pierre Lundin (S) China CTIC Team 3 laps behind
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Drivers (positions after round 5 of 8): unofficial
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 70 pts
2. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 40 pts
3. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 32 pts
4. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 31 pts
5. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 28 pts
6. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 Team 27 pts
7. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 27 pts
8. Pierre Lundin (S) China CTIC Team 24 pts
9. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 24 pts, etc
Yousef Al-Khulaifi (QA) Qatar Team 8 pts
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