F1 Superb Pole Position for Jay Price in Abu Dhabi

Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - December 4th-5th, round 7 of 8

For immediate release
Thursday, December 4th, 2008


·Arch rivals Selio and Andersson hold second and third places
·Qatar's Al-Khulaifi qualifies 17th for Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team's Jay Price will start Friday afternoon's 16th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - the most important race of his illustrious racing career - from a sensational pole position after the time trials and six-boat shoot-out off the Abu Dhabi breakwater on Thursday afternoon.

The first F1 Pole Position of the Qatar Team driver's career could not have come at a sweeter time, as he bids to win a maiden UIM F1 World Championship title. Championship rivals Sami Selio and Jonas Andersson completed the podium and the first three in the starting line-up for Friday's race, with Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi qualifying in 17th position. Selio and Andersson need to win the race and hope that Price scores less than four points to prevent the Qatar Team driver winning the world title with one race in hand.

Selio, Guido Cappellini, Price, David Trask, Thani Al-Qamzi and Andersson had qualified for the six-boat shoot-out off the breakwater in Abu Dhabi. Andersson was the first to show his hand in the shoot-out and the Swede laid down the gauntlet with a lap of 48.63s.

Local hero Al-Qamzi was determined to please the crowd and posted a tour of 49.00s, with Trask slipping behind the Emirati with a best lap of 49.20s. Price did not need to win the shoot-out, but a stunning time of 47.99s pushed him into a provisional Pole Position and, when Cappellini could only manage a 49.50s and Selio lapped in 48.45s, Pole Position was confirmed for the delighted Qatar Team driver.

"The priority was for Jay to make the shoot-out and he fulfilled the objective perfectly," said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. "Now he has a great position to start the race from the front. We have a team strategy, but Jay needs to stay out of trouble. It is not in his nature to slow down, but it is important that we clinch the title before Sharjah."

The QMSF is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, who is taking part in this weekend's Class 1 Mina Seyahi Grand Prix in Dubai.

Twenty-two boats began the first of the time trials and Selio did what he had to do by setting the fastest lap of 48.85s after running for eight circuits of the course. He was shadowed through the session by Cappellini, with Qatar's Price nicely tucked into third position with a best tour of 49.00s. David Trask, Thani Al-Qamzi and Jonas Andersson completed the top six, while Yousef Al-Khulaifi was classified in 16th position with a best lap of 52.45s.

The second time trial took an added significance, but the leading trio held station, with Selio posting the fastest lap of the combined sessions of 48.85s. Cappellini and Price qualified in second and third positions and Trask, Al-Qamzi and Andersson ensured that they were fit for the shoot-out, with Andersson and Al-Hameli topping the second time trial session times. The Swede edged Ahmed A-Hameli out of sixth place by a mere 0.02s. Al-Khulaifi slipped a place to 17th for the race on Friday, despite setting the 14th quickest time in the second session.

Ahmed Al-Hameli was the fastest driver on the water during Thursday morning's first free practice session, the Abu Dhabi driver posting a fastest lap of 48.57s. Cappellini, Selio and Andersson were his closest rivals, with Price down in sixth position. The World Championship leader ran for 12 laps and posted a quickest time of 49.46s, while Al-Khulaifi was 18th quickest with a best tour of 52.87s.

Friday's Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi starts at 3.30pm (2.30pm Doha time), although teams will be permitted to take part in a final 45-minute free practice session from 10.15am on Friday morning.
2008 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Shoot-out results
1. Jay Price (QA)  Qatar Team  47.99s
2. Sami Selio (FIN)  Woodstock Red Devil Racing 48.45s  
3.  Jonas Andersson (S)   F1 Team Sweden       48.63s
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi  49.00s
5. David Trask (AUS)  Trask Brothers Racing 49.20s
6. Guido Cappellini (I)  Tamoil F1   49.50s

2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Pole Position (positions after round 7 of 8):
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi    87 pts
2. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1     78 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing  74 pts
4. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi    67 pts
5.  Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden     62 pts
6. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team   56 pts
7. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing  28 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: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).


Date issued: 04/12/2008

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