F1 Jay Price qualifies third for crucial Shenzhen race
Attention: Sports Editors
2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Shenzhen - October 24th-26th, round 6 of 8
For immediate release
Saturday, October 25th, 2008
QATAR'S PRICE ON COURSE FOR WORLD TITLE
BY QUALIFYING THIRD FOR SHENZHEN RACE
Shenzhen shoot-out victory falls to Finland's Sami Selio
Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi qualifies 16th for Shenzhen race
SHENZHEN (China): The Qatar Team's Jay Price heads into Sunday's crucial Grand Prix of Shenzhen in confident mood after finishing third in the six-boat shoot-out to determine Pole Position on Shenzhen's Houhai Lake on Saturday afternoon. The fastest lap of the day of 33.78s by the defending World Champion Sami Selio was sufficient to claim victory in the shoot-out competition.
Price holds a 30-point lead in the UIM F1 World Championship and was the fastest of all 21 drivers in Saturday morning's first practice session and during the first time trial. He was then overhauled by Finland's Selio in the second time trial, as the pair were joined by Team Abu Dhabi's Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmad Al-Hameli, Price's main championship rival Jonas Andersson and Italian Francesco Cantando in the shoot-out. Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi qualified 16th for his first Shenzhen race.
Al-Hameli was unable to start the shoot-out because of earlier problems and Cantando was the first driver on to the course. The Italian set the marker with a second potent lap of 35.55s. A good starting position for the race was crucial to Andersson in his quest to catch Price and he carded a best tour of 35.08s to take provisional pole.
Al-Qamzi lay second in the UIM F1 Pole Position points' standings before Shenzhen and knew that this was a fantastic opportunity to overhaul the suspended Guido Cappellini at the head of the leader board. He posted a best lap of the day of 33.96s to seize the lead. Price was next up and slotted into second place with a competitive 34.50s, which put him in front of Andersson on the grid, but it was left to Selio to try and upset the applecart. The Finn did just that with a scintillating 33.78s lap to snatch Pole Position and the maximum 20 points' haul.
"Jay did what he had to do today and put himself in a good starting position for this important race," 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. "He just needs to stay clear of trouble and race his own race on Sunday and make sure he scores more championship points. The pressure is on his rivals now to close the gap."
Price appeared relaxed and in inspired form during the first qualifying session on Shenzhen's Houhai Lake, where he topped the lap times with a best tour of 34.72s, 0.08 seconds quicker than the defending World Champion Sami Selio. Andersson, Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli completed the top five and Italian Francesco Cantando found himself in the provisional shoot-out with a lap of 35.64s that was sufficient for sixth position. Al-Khulaifi ran for his full 17 laps and toured to a best lap of 37.38s and 14th position.
Al-Qamzi managed to move ahead of Andersson and into third position after seven laps of his second qualifying session, the Team Abu Dhabi driver posting a lap of 34.88s and notice of his intent. Within minutes Price also found himself demoted to second position, when a flying Selio lapped in 34.34s to take the fastest time of the day.
Price headed out on to the water after 10 minutes of the session and came within 0.01s of his fastest time on his sixth lap, although Selio remained on top and Al-Qamzi, Andersson, Al-Hameli and Cantando retained their places in the provisional shoot-out.
Cantando passed Al-Hameli mid-way through the session with a lap of 35.50s - the Abu Dhabi driver was forced to miss the second time trial - and Sweden's Pierre Lundin continued to knock on the door of the shoot-out six with the seventh fastest time of 35.89s. Al-Khulaifi slipped to 16th of the 21 entrants, but there were no further moves up the leader board in the closing minutes of the session.
Price had been the quickest driver on the course for the opening practice session on Saturday morning, the Qatar Team driver posting a fastest lap of 35.05s, during his 17-lap stint. Main championship rival Andersson was second in 35.53s and Price's team mate Al-Khulaifi was 11th in 37.45s.
Sunday's Grand Prix of Shenzhen starts at 3pm (10am Doha time), although teams will be permitted to take part in a final 45-minute free practice session on Sunday morning.
2008 Grand Prix of Shenzhen - Shoot-out results
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 33.78s
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 33.96s
3. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 34.50s
4. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 35.08s
5. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha Team 35.55s
6. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi DNS
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Pole Position (positions after round 6 of 8):
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 78 pts
2. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 73 pts
3. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 67 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 59 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 50 pts
6. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 36 pts
7. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 21 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha Team 14 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: email@example.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).