C1 Qatar Team tests in readiness for Qatar Grand Prix
2009 CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix, round 1 - April 23rd-25th, 2009
For immediate release
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
QATAR TEAM CONTINUES TEST PROGRAMME BEFORE
THE OPENING CLASS 1 RACE IN DOHA ON SATURDAY
·Sheikh Hassan takes to the water in the 'new' rebuilt Qatar 96
·Matteo Nicolini tests exhaust systems and new propellers in crucial test
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Class 1 World Powerboat Championship team completed another test session on Sunday morning, while His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani gave the 'new' rebuilt Qatar 96 its first official run-out prior to Friday's Edox Pole Position qualifying for Saturday's Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix.
"We carried out another test session on Sunday (April 19th)," admitted Sheikh Hassan. "The plan was to see the improvement on the boats after the close season over the winter and to assess the work that has been done. Last Thursday, we also tested Qatar 96 for the first time since it has been rebuilt after the accident in Qatar last March. We monitored noise reduction levels that we have worked on and carried out some acceleration tests."
The President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) confirmed that both Qatar 95 and Qatar 96 were used in Sunday's tests and the plan was to put both boats out on the water at the same time at some point during the session.
Abdullah Al-Sulaiti - the driver of Qatar 95 - was away on a business trip and was forced to miss Sunday's test, but Sheikh Hassan confirmed that team technician and occasional team throttleman Luca Nicolini was on hand to fill the void where necessary and personally admitted that he would be prepared to assist with the testing of both 95 and 96.
"On Thursday we tested for about an hour and Sunday's session was for a similar duration," added Sheikh Hassan. "We are a bit concerned about the new rules and new propeller design, so we tested the new propellers, as per the 2009 rules, to see if we could make any improvements in time for the first race this weekend."
Sheikh Hassan confirmed that the test sessions on Thursday and Sunday were timed to coincide with the actual timings of the Edox Pole Position and Qatar Marine Festival Grand Prix. "This gives us a better idea of water and weather conditions at the same time of the day when we will be racing at the weekend."
Nicolini confirmed that Sunday's test was particularly useful to test several technical components on Qatar 95. "We tested the new exhaust systems and the performance of the boat with the new Five-Axis propellers in comparison with the Hering ones we are allowed to use with a penalty weight of 150kg."
Sheikh Hassan's throttleman, Steve Curtis, was also present at Sunday's test. "Everything went very well and we had a good speed," said the Briton. "Now we can look forward to the first round of the championship at the weekend."
The Italian throttleman for the Sterling V8-engined Qatar 95 also worked on aspects of engine reliability and his set-up for this weekend's race, which is set to fire into life at 3pm on Saturday afternoon in Doha Bay.
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