F1 Qatar Team duo retire from Grand Prix of Sharjah

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

For immediate release
Friday, December 12th, 2008


·Thani Al-Qamzi wins Sharjah race; engine problems put Al-Khulaifi out
·Finland's Sami Selio seals runner-up spot in 2008 UIM F1 World Championship

SHARJAH (UAE): The Qatar Team's newly-crowned UIM F1 World Champion Jay Price was forced out of fourth position in the ninth Grand Prix of Sharjah, when he struck a course buoy on the 22nd of 50 laps on Khalid Lagoon on Friday afternoon.

Qatar team mate Yousef Al-Khulaifi was also forced out of the race with engine problems, but Abu Dhabi's Thani Al-Qamzi secured his first outright victory of the season and last year's Finnish World Champion Sami Selio confirmed the runner-up position in the UIM F1 World Championship behind the Qatar Team's Price.

"It was not our day today, but we have enjoyed a superb season and clinched both the World Drivers' Championship and the Teams' Championship," 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. "We can now look ahead to the future with great confidence."

Al-Qamzi made the best start and led but Al-Hameli ground to a halt on the opening lap, as his team mate was shadowed by Selio, Andersson, Cappellini and Price through the opening four laps. The leaders held station through 10 laps, although Al-Hameli's chances of finishing second in the championship had ended, leaving the way open for Andersson, Selio and David Trask to fight for the silver medal position.

Al-Qamzi continued to lead through 20 laps, although the wind had strengthened and made the water in Khalid Lagoon a little more hazardous, as Cappellini was forced to withdraw from fourth, an event which moved Price up the leader board, behind Al-Qamzi, Selio and Andersson.

But Qatar's newly-crowned World Champion retired on the 22nd tour after hitting a turn buoy, as Selio and Andersson continued their fight for second in the championship, with Trask still in the hunt in fourth position at the half-way point. Yousef Al-Khulaifi had started at the rear of the field, but engine problems again plagued the Qatar rookie and he was forced out of the race on lap eight.

Trask also left the fray on the 32nd lap, as the battle for the runner-up spot in the championship was whittled down to being between just two runners, Selio and Andersson. Thirteen of the original 21 starters were still running, as Al-Qamzi attempted to end a disappointing season with a stunning win in his native UAE and his first of the season.

Selio remained on course for second in the title race, as Al-Qamzi headed into the final seven laps with a 2.51s advantage over the Finn. Selio eased a little to conserve his position and Al-Qamzi began the last three laps with a 4.31s lead and survived unscathed through the remaining laps to take a deserved win.

Al-Hameli set the fastest time in the final practice session on Friday morning, the Team Abu Dhabi driver posting a time of 52.15s during his six-lap stint.  Price was a close second - a mere 0.03s behind after running for 14 laps - and Al-Khulaifi lapped six times and set the 17th quickest time after the engine had been refettled in his BaBa overnight.

2008 Grand Prix of Sharjah - final results
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE)   F1 Team Abu Dhabi     53m 69s
2. Sami Selio (FIN)   Woodstock Red Devil Racing @ 5.89s
3. Jonas Andersson (S)   F1 Team Sweden                 @ 9.49s
4. Fabio Comparato (I)   800 Doctor Team       @ 45.07s
5. Phillipe Chiappe (F)  F1 Atlantic Team  @ 48.63s
6. Marco Gambi (I)   Singha Team  1 lap behind
7. Francesca Cantando (I)  Singha Team  2 lap behind
8. Phillipe Dessertenne (F)  China CTIC Team  2 laps behind
9. Duarte Benevente (P)  F1 Atlantic Team  2 laps behind
10. Ivan Brigada (I)   Rainbow Team  2 laps behind

2008 UIM F1 World Championship - Drivers (final positions):
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team    105 pts 
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Woodstock Red Devil Racing   69 pts  
3. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden    62 pts            
4. Ahmad Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi    55 pts   
5. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team     43 pts  
6. David Trask (AUS) Trask Brothers Racing   41 pts
7. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team    40 pts
17. Yousef Al-Khulaifi (QA) Qatar Team    8 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: 12/12/2008

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