F1 Engine problems cost Jay Price third place in Portugal

Grand Prix of Portugal - April 4th-5th, rounds 1 and 2

For immediate release
Sunday, April 5th, 2009


·Qatar team replacement Leo Bonelli finishes a fine seventh
·Second Portugal race victory falls to Thani Al-Qamzi
·Qatar's Price claims pole position and fastest time in practice session

PORTIMAO (Portugal): Team Qatar's Jay Price was unable to follow up his second position in the opening race of the UIM F1 World Championship season in Portugal with victory in the second 30-minute race on Sunday.  The reigning UIM F1 World Champion qualified on pole position for the second race, but lost third position on the sixth lap with terminal engine problems.

The result means that the defending World Champion heads into the two-month break before the second race meeting in Russia in joint third place in the series, 14 points behind championship leader and second Portugal race winner, Thani Al-Qamzi.

Stand-in team mate Leo Bonelli qualified 17th for the race and followed up Saturday's fine eighth position with seventh overall in Yousef Al-Khulaifi's Baba boat.

"The outcome could have been much worse for us after Jay's engine problems," admitted Team Qatar's F1 manager Khalid Al-Kuwari. "But other drivers had problems as well and we are still in a very strong position after the first meeting of the season. Leo did a great job for us as well and managed to score valuable points to keep the Qatar Team in second place in the Teams' Championship."

Price and birthday boy Bonelli started the race from pole position and 17th on the grid, but Price slipped behind Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi on the sprint out from the start and settled into third position, with Guido Cappellini, Jonas Andersson and Pierre Lundin completing the top six. Bonelli slipped to 18th through five laps, but Price pulled out on the sixth lap with mechanical problems and lost his chance of repeating last year's race success in Portugal.

Bonelli climbed to 13th, but the Abu Dhabi duo of Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi began to edge away from the field.  Cappellini and Sami Selio also retired in the early stages and the race was yellow-flagged after 24 laps while the sinking Baba of Fabio Comparato was removed from the course. Bonelli climbed to 10th position and into the points, as Al-Hameli's lead was reduced to just 2.62 seconds after lap 29.

The race leader withdrew after 30 laps and Al-Qamzi inherited the lead, with Bonelli climbing to eighth for Team Qatar. Al-Qamzi maintained his lead through the final two green flag laps to win Team Abu Dhabi's second race of the weekend. Andersson slowed to a standstill on the penultimate lap and Francesco Cantando claimed second position and Bonelli moved up to seventh.

F1 Team Qatar is run by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani and the management of Khalid Al-Kuwari.

Practice and time trials

Only sixteen of the boats took to the water for the one-hour free practice session on Sunday morning and Price hit the front of the lap times after around 30 minutes of the stint, his tour of 41.61s sufficient to oust the UAE pairing of Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi from top spots, despite the fact he suffered an engine problem late in the session. Andy Elliott's fire-damaged hull was not ready for the session and Sami Selio also skipped the practice. Bonelli recorded a lap of 43.67s to hold 12th position heading into the final minutes, although he slipped to 14th in the rankings at the end of the hour.

Price slotted into fourth position behind Al-Hameli, Al-Qamzi and Duarte Benevente after his opening three laps in the 45-minute time trial, but a fourth tour of 41.27s lifted the Qatar Team driver to second place. He retained second through 15 minutes, as Bonelli claimed 12th with a lap of 44.05s. Al-Qamzi hit the front after 25 minutes of the session and pushed Price down to third and Bonelli found himself in 17th position with a best lap of 43.73s. With nine minutes of the session to go, Price claimed provisional pole with a flying lap of 40.71s and Jonas Andersson moved into the top six in the dying minutes.

"It was another great drive from Jay to gain the pole position and give us the best position possible at the start of the race," said the QMSF's Khalid Al-Kuwari. "Leo is getting used to the boat. We had a discussion and I told him to try and finish as high as possible in the race and gain as many points as he could for the team."

11th Grand Prix of Portugal - race 2 results (Sunday)
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi   44 laps
2. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team   9.39s behind
3. Duarte Benavente (P) F1 Atlantic Team    12.29s behind
4. Andy Elliott (GB) Ace Racing     35.42s behind
5. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente   60.56s behind
6. Daniele Martignoni (I) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock  1 lap behind
7. Leo Bonelli (I) F1 Team Qatar     1 lap behind
8. Marit Stromoy (N) Team Azerbaijan    1 lap behind
9. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan    Retired
10. Marco Gambi (I) Singha F1 Team    2 laps behind

2009 UIM F1 World Championship - positions after 2 races (unofficial):
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 29 pts   
2. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 20 pts 
3. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 15 pts
3. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar  15 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan  14 pts
6. Duarte Benavente (P) F1 Atlantic Team  12 pts
7. Andy Elliott (GB) Ace Racing   9 pts
8. Leo Bonelli (I) F1 Team Qatar   7 pts
8. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente 7 pts
8. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team  7 pts
8. Marit Stromoy (N) Team Azerbaijan  7 pts

11th Grand Prix of Portugal - Pole Position Time Trial qualifying  2 (Sunday)
1. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar   40.71s  
2. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi  40.85s  
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi  40.97s  
4. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team   41.30s  
5. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan   41.42s
6. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock  41.54s 
17. Leo Bonelli (I) F1 Team Qatar   43.73s


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: 05/04/2009

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

Email: ndppublicity@googlemail.com

Web: www.ndp-publicity.com

Return to Top          Powered by Infotex UK