F1 Jay Price set to start Sharjah race from sixth position

Grand Prix of Sharjah - December 11th-12th, round 8 of 8

For immediate release
Thursday, December 11th, 2008


·Engine woes drop Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi to 21st
·Thani Al-Qamzi claims 2008 UIM Pole Position championship title

SHARJAH (UAE): Qatar's UIM F1 World Champion Jay Price will start the final race of the season in Sharjah from sixth position, after Thursday afternoon's time trials and shoot-out on Khalid Lagoon in the UAE. Pole Position for the race fell to Finland's Sami Selio, with Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmed Al-Hameli completing the top three positions. The result was sufficient for Al-Qamzi to clinch the 2008 Pole Position championship title.

Qatar's Yousef Al-Khulaifi will line-up in 21st position after engine problems, as he prepares for an outside chance of claiming the Rookie of the Year award. 

"We are quite happy with Jay's position, because it will be a big fight between the leaders in this race," admitted 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.

"Yousef was unable to race to his full potential because he broke the engine in the second time trial. He will start near the back of the grid and may have to miss the practice on Friday morning, but he will be ready for the race. It is important that Yousef uses the event to gain experience and is able to look ahead to 2009 with renewed confidence."

Sami Selio, Ahmed Al-Hameli, Guido Cappellini, Thani Al-Qamzi, Jonas Andersson and Jay Price qualified for the six-boat shoot-out and it was Price who laid down an excellent marker time of 50.48s on the second of his fast laps. It was the fastest lap of the entire day, but Andersson managed to go even faster with a stunning tour of 50.11s.

Al-Qamzi needed to stay at least 10 points in front of Cappellini to clinch the Pole Position championship title and he began with a stunning 49.54s to take provisional pole. Third or better would suffice for the Emirati as Cappellini posted a 49.86s lap. It was not enough to prevent Al-Qamzi taking the title, as Al-Hameli and Selio followed the Italian on to the Khalid Lagoon course.

Al-Hameli carded a 51.95s tour, but followed up with a stunning recovery lap of 49.78s to claim second position. But Selio saved the best until last and a sensational first lap of 49.06s snatched pole for Friday's race and pushed Price down to sixth place.

Al-Hameli did his chances of finishing second in the overall championship no harm at all by setting the pace in the first 15 minutes of the opening time trial. His lap of 50.86s was enough to head the likes of Cappellini, Andersson, Price and Selio, as three drivers slugged it out for the Pole Position title. Al-Khulaifi held 17th position.

At the half-hour mark, Al-Hameli and Cappellini held station at the front of the field, although Selio had moved up to third at the expense of Price and Andersson and Al-Khulaifi had slipped back to 19th position. Al-Qamzi was in danger of losing the Pole world title: the Emirati held sixth position as Cappellini closed in on the title.

Al-Hameli held on over the closing minutes to take the fastest time into the second time trial, with Cappellini in second and Al-Qamzi moving up to third position, which would be sufficient to claim the Pole title after the shoot-out. Selio, Price and Andersson completed the top six and Al-Khulaifi improved to 15th of the 21 runners.

In the first 10 minutes of the second time trial session neither Al-Hameli nor Al-Qamzi could beat their earlier times and the top six held station, although Al-Khulaifi again slipped to 17th position. By the one-third mark Andersson had passed Price into fifth and Australia's David Trask had lapped a mere 0.03 seconds behind the World Champion, as Price headed out on to the water for the first time in the session with around 27 minutes remaining.

No driver was able to get into the 50-second region through the opening 30 minutes of the second time trial and the top six remained unchanged heading into the final quarter of an hour. Price edged away from Trask with a lap of 51.23s to strengthen his grip on sixth, but Al-Khulaifi slipped to 21st after the Qatari suffered a broken engine and was unable to complete more than three laps.

But last year's World Champion Selio managed to post a sensational lap of 50.59s in the last six minutes to push himself to the top of the leader board, with Al-Hameli, Cappellini, Al-Qamzi, Andersson and Price also qualifying for the shoot-out.

Al-Qamzi had been the fastest driver in first official practice, the Emirati posting a quickest tour of 52.53s in his 13-lap session to push Price down to second position by 0.1s. Al-Hameli, Andersson and Cappellini completed the top five, but Al-Khulaifi was down in 20th of the 21 runners with a best circuit of 57.62s.

Tomorrow's (Friday) Grand Prix of Sharjah starts at 3.30pm, although teams will be permitted to take part in a final 45-minute free practice session from 10.15am.

2008 Grand Prix of Sharjah - Shoot-out results
1. Sami Selio (FIN)   Woodstock Red Devil Racing 49.06s 
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE)  F1 Team Abu Dhabi  49.54s
3. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE)   F1 Team Abu Dhabi     49.78s
4. Guido Cappellini (I)   Tamoil F1   49.86s
5.  Jonas Andersson (S)    F1 Team Sweden       50.11s
6. Jay Price (QA)   Qatar Team  50.48s

2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Pole Position (final positions):
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi    102 pts*
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing  94 pts
3. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1     87 pts
4. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi    79 pts
5.  Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden     69 pts
6. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team   61 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
* denotes 2008 UIM F1 World Pole Position champion
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: 11/12/2008

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