F1 Jay Price is the 2008 UIM F1 World Champion
2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - December 5th, round 7 of 8
For immediate release
Friday, December 5th, 2008
QATAR'S JAY PRICE SEALS UIM F1 WORLD TITLE WITH
START-TO-FINISH VICTORY IN GRAND PRIX OF ABU DHABI
·Abu Dhabi's Ahmed Al-Hameli takes second place
·Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi registered in 13th position
ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team's Jay Price produced one of the greatest drives in the history of the UIM F1 World Championship to clinch the World Championship by winning the 16th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi on Friday afternoon.
The DAC driver only needed to score four points to be assured of the title, but he led from start to finish, after claiming pole on Thursday afternoon. He overcame severe pressure from Team Abu Dhabi's Ahmed Al-Hameli and Thani Al-Qamzi to claim the title.
Neither rivals Jonas Andersson nor Sami Selio could match the Qatar Team driver off the Abu Dhabi breakwater and Price eventually secured the title in superb style, with Al-Hameli claiming second position and team mate Al-Qamzi completing the podium. Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi qualified 17th for the race and was classified 13th at the finish.
"I gave myself a great chance by getting the Pole Position," said Price. "It's easier to hold a lead than it is to hold fourth or fifth place. This is a dream come true. It's a great feeling for me and I am proud of the whole team who have made this possible."
"We knew we had a good chance of taking the title, but Jay is Jay and there was no way he was going to slow down today," said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. "He didn't need to push, but he kept pushing and pushing and what a way to win the world title. This is a great achievement for Qatar and a major boost for our sport. Now we wish the good luck passes along the coast to Dubai and the Class 1 team can also win their race on Saturday."
"What a superb day for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation," enthused His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, who himself claimed Pole Position for his Class 1 race in Dubai on Friday. "My congratulations go out to the entire F1 team for a superb performance this season. Jay drove a fantastic race by all accounts and this result has come after a lot of hard work by many people in Doha."
The tension was paramount at the start of the crucial 50-lap race on the 2.22km course as Price headed title rivals Selio and Andersson into the first lap. He finished the lap in ideal race conditions, 2.2s ahead of Al-Qamzi, with Andersson in third and Selio slipping to fifth place.
The Qatar Team leader continued his nerveless challenge from the front of the field and, after eight laps, he was 4.2s ahead of Al-Qamzi, with Andersson, Ahmed Al-Hameli, Selio and Duarte Benevente completing the top six. Yousef Al-Khulaifi had moved up two places to 15th.
By lap 24, Price was continuing his superb run towards the world title in dramatic style. He held a 7.4 second lead over Al-Qamzi, with Al-Hameli now running in third position and his two title rivals, Andersson and Selio, in fourth and fifth places. Cappellini and Phillipe Tourre had already fallen by the wayside by the time young Italian Daniel Martignoni forced a yellow flag situation when he spun his boat and caused a delay.
But Price maintained his composure when the action resumed on lap 25, although his lead over Al-Qamzi had been reduced to 3.99s, with Al-Hameli a close third, Andersson in fourth and David Trask and Selio completing the top six, after the Australian passed the World Champion. Al-Khulaifi continued his steady climb to 13th position.
After 30 of the 50 race laps, Price led by five seconds, but he needed to ensure that he didn't become embroiled in a scrap with Al-Qamzi for outright victory when fourth or fifth place would be enough to win the world title. With 12 laps remaining, the tension was reaching fever pitch in the Qatar Team camp, but Price continued to lead from Al-Qamzi by 4.38s, as the pair pulled away from Al-Hameli, who lost his cockpit canopy. An all-Arabic podium was on the cards as the race entered the final 10 laps and the top six held station.
Instead of easing over the closing laps, Price began to pull away as he closed in on an emotional world title in emphatic style. Neither Andersson nor Selio were a match for the Qatar driver, both of whom had to win the race to deprive Price of the title and a triumphant arm out of the cockpit and delighted crew in the pit area signalled a stunning world title and race win for the Qatar Team.
Sami Selio had set the fastest time in Friday morning's final practice session, the Finn posting a lap of 49.18s to pip the Abu Dhabi duo of Ahmed Al-Hameli and Thani Al-Qamzi. Qatar's Price was happy with a best lap of 50.06s and the fourth fastest time, while Yousef Al-Khulaifi was just under three seconds adrift in 16th position.
2008 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - final results
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 50 laps
2. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi @ 23.76s
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi @ 29.51s
4. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing @ 33.40s
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing @ 36.75s
6. Francesca Cantando (I) Singha Team @ 50.44s
7. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 1 lap behind
8. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 1 lap behind
9. Bob Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 2 laps behind
10. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden RET
2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Drivers (positions after round 7 of 8):
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 105 pts - 2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPION
2. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 55 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing 54 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 50 pts
5. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing 41 pts
6. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 34 pts
7. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 33 pts
8. Pierre Lundin (S) China CTIC Team 31 pts, etc
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).