C1 QMSF announces Qatar Marine Festival GP timetable

Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix, round 1 - April 23rd-25th, 2009

For immediate release
Saturday, April 18th, 2009


·Pole Position set for next Friday; opening race of new season on Saturday
·Matteo Nicolini calls for radical shake-up of Class 1 racing format

DOHA (Qatar): Officials at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) have confirmed the timetable for next weekend's Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2009 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.

The weekend's festivities will get underway with administration and technical scrutineering on Thursday morning (April 23rd), before teams are permitted to take to the water in Doha Bay for the first two-hour official practice session of the new season from noon (12.00hrs). Competitors will attend a compulsory drivers' briefing at the Sheraton Hotel on the Corniche from 6pm.

In addition to being the driver of Qatar 96, His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani is the President of the QMSF and admits that no changes have currently been made to the Pole Position format in this season's Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. The first Edox Pole Position competition of the new season starts at 3pm on Friday, although there will be a second official 90-minute practice session on the course from 10.30hrs.

Qatar 95 throttleman Matteo Nicolini has been trying to encourage changes to the format of Class 1 races for some time. "At the end of last season I proposed to have two races at each meeting - one on a Saturday and one on a Sunday - with the winning boat from the first race starting in last position for the second race," said the Italian.

"I still consider this to be the best solution. It is the best format for the Pole Position, where the public and the media do not have much interest at the moment. I feel that major changes can create interest and this will be beneficial for the local organisers of races. It will enable them to sell two races to sponsors and not just one."

This two-race format has been adopted by the UIM F1 World Championship from the start of the 2009 season.

Race day in Doha fires into life with a final one-hour practice session on the race course from 10.30am on Saturday morning (April 25th), with the first Grand Prix of the year starting at 3pm.

The outcome of the Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix in Doha Bay will be decided over a total race distance of 96.45Nm, consisting of one 5.15Nm start lap, 18 short laps of 4.5Nm and two compulsory 5.15Nm long laps.

"We have made some recommendations and slight amendments to the race course," admitted Sheikh Hassan. "It is straighter along the inside part of the Corniche to eliminate the big round curve and this should reduce the risk of accidents. But it is still a very challenging course."

Timetable of events for 2009 Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix

Thursday, April 23rd - Doha Bay
09.00 hrs - 12.00 hrs Administration and technical scrutineering
12.00 hrs - 14.00hrs  1st official practice on race course
18.00 hrs   Drivers' briefing - Sheraton Hotel

Friday, April 24th - Doha Bay
10.30 hrs - 12.00hrs  2nd free practice on race course
15.00 hrs - 16.00 hrs Edox Pole Position, followed by podium presentation
20.00 hrs   Opening ceremony and official dinner - Sheraton Hotel

Saturday, April 25th - Doha Bay
10.30 hrs - 11.30hrs  3rd official practice on race course, including long lap
15.00 hrs   2009 Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix


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: 18/04/2009

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