F1 Andy Elliott joins Team Qatar for GP of Finland
2009 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
5th Grand Prix of Finland – June 12th-13th, rounds 3 and 4
For immediate release
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
TEAM QATAR HEADS TO FINLAND TO MAINTAIN UIM F1 TITLE CHALLENGE
· England’s Andy Elliott joins Team Qatar for remaining 2009 races
· UIM F1 World Champion Jay Price raring to go for Team Qatar
LAHTI (Finland): English veteran racer Andy Elliott has joined UIM F1 World Champion Jay Price in F1 Team Qatar for this weekend’s third and fourth rounds of the series on Lake Vesijärvi in Finland. Race one takes place on Friday, June 12th, with the second Grand Prix taking place on Saturday afternoon (June 13th).
Last year, Price produced one of the greatest fight backs in the history of F1 racing to recover from 18th on the start pontoon to take a stunning second position. His Qatar team-mate Yousef Al-Khulaifi finished a fine eighth overall, but family commitments mean that the Doha-based driver has stood down from racing duties and Elliott has joined Team Qatar for the first time.
UIM F1 race officials have been forced to revise the calendar of races this season and the Russian race – which should have taken place last weekend – has moved to a date in early August. “I think that the postponement of the Russian race has helped our team,” admitted Price. “It has given us more time for engine preparations and team management.”
Price is relishing teaming up with Elliott in the Qatar team. “With Andy’s experience we should have a better chance of retaining the UIM F1 Teams’ Championship title,” he adds. “We will not change our strategy. I will go for podiums. Now we have a new boat as a back-up, I think it was as very smart decision by QMSF management to contract Andy, because he will bring many years of experience to the team and will be running his own boat in which he has spent a lot of time. This means he will not have to adjust to different equipment and this should bring us instant results.”
Price currently lies 14 points behind the championship-leading Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al-Qamzi, but this year’s radical new format for F1 race weekends means that championship points are at stake for two races on Friday and Saturday afternoon in Finland.
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 Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari. “We have an even better chance of achieving success this year with Andy on board,” admitted Team Qatar’s F1 manager Al-Kuwari. “I am sure that Jay will focus hard and has the full support of the QMSF.”
Elliott, from Bracknell in England, has known Price for over 20 years and entered the F1 fray for the first time in 1990. He finished runner-up to the late Jon Hill at the final round in Singapore, but he did take race wins in Malaysia that year and in Holland in 1991. Andy has been competing in F1 for 18 years and has finished inside the top five in the Drivers’ Championship on three occasions.
He has raced in many disciplines and was the T2 World Champion from 1981 to 1983 and clinched the F3 title in 1984, 1987 and 1989. He entered the first two rounds in Portugal with his own Ace Racing team and finished fourth in the second race to hold seventh in the Drivers’ Championship, six points behind Price. Friday’s Finnish race will be his 136th F1 Grand Prix start – a record that includes two wins, a second place and four thirds.
“I am extremely happy to be teaming up with Jay and the QMSF,” said Elliott. “I have always enjoyed Jay’s company and he is a true hard-charging racer, who takes no prisoners on the water. It’s an honour to be running the number two Qatar boat and to be part of the championship-winning team. The Qatar Team has come a long way and the new management team have done an excellent job in carrying out a plan and making it all happen in a short time.
“Team Abu Dhabi are the strongest two-boat team at the moment,” adds Elliott. “If I can upgrade my Dragon boat and engines, then we will give them a good run for their money. I also think Sami (Selio) and Massimo (Roggiero) will be strong and you can never rule out Guido (Cappellini).”
Race weekend gets underway with official practice and time trial qualifying on Friday morning, before the first of two Finnish races fires into life at 3pm (local time) on Friday afternoon. Saturday follows a similar format, with the second race starting at 3pm.
2009 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after 2 races:
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
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).