F1 Jay Price leads Qatar Team challenge in Liuzhou
2009 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Liuzhou, China – October 6th-7th, rounds 7/8 of 16
For immediate release
Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
QATAR’S JAY PRICE RELISHING PAIR
OF CHINESE F1 RACES IN LIUZHOU
· Qatar’s World Champion heads to China in second place in UIM F1 Drivers’ series
· Australian F1 supremo Craig Bailey joins F1 Team Qatar for Liuzhou race meeting
· Qatar’s Price takes 25-point UIM F1 Pole Position Championship lead to China
DOHA (Qatar): F1 Team Qatar head to Central Asia this week for the first two races in a hectic month’s powerboat racing in China. The team’s defending UIM F1 World Champion, Jay Price, will take part in two races in Liuzhou on October 6th-7th and a further two races in Shenzhen on October 17th-18th.
Price will be joined in China by the experienced Australian F1 racer Craig Bailey, who will represent the Doha-based team for the first time and replaces Britain’s Andy Elliott.
This week’s two races on the Liu River take the prestigious UIM F1 series to its half-way point and Price knows that podium finishes and even race wins are crucial if he is to retain the world title for the Doha-based Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“I like the fact that we will have four races in just three weeks,” enthused Price, who was already won Grand Prix in Finland and Russia this year, taken a second place in Portugal and suffered three non-finishes. “China has a 12-hour time difference to my home town in the USA and I only get adjusted to the time difference at the end of the trip and never get a complete night’s rest, so the extra races and longer stay are better for me.”
Price admits that some teams have the facility to test their boat set-up and propellers between races and the fact that the Shenzhen race meeting is only two weeks after the races in Liuzhou, means that this advantage has been reduced. “Our crew will have more time to spend with the boat and they will also be better rested because we do not intend to travel home between the two race meetings.”
Price currently trails Team Abu Dhabi’s championship leader Thani Al-Qamzi by 10 points heading into the Liuzhou races, but is confident that he can win the meetings on the Liu River. “My goal is to win the races. This will keep the pressure on Thani and the other drivers. The season is only reaching its half-way point, so it is too early to be thinking of slowing down. The Liuzhou course is very challenging and, of course, I won there last year.”
Price admits that there is a big rivalry between the Qatar and Abu Dhabi teams, but has not ruled out a serious challenge from the likes of Sweden’s Jonas Andersson, Italy’s Guido Cappellini and Finland’s Sami Selio over the coming weeks. “It is not a case of fighting just with Abu Dhabi,” added Price. “We cannot let our guard down, because there are other teams close behind looking for the opportunity to take the championship.”
Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, Head of Formula Racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), has confirmed that Andy Elliott will not represent the Qatar Team in Liuzhou, following his spectacular crash in Russia. He will be replaced by Craig Bailey, with Elliott working as the Australian’s radio man.
Bailey resides in Caringbah, New South Wales, and has been racing since 1977. He was Australian F1 champion seven times between 1989 and 2004 and the 1998 Asia-Pacific F1 Champion. He also competes in supercharged inboard and hydroplane racing and is a six-time winner of the St. George Champion of Champions, as well as the Dorwin Gold Cup on five occasions.
“Andy will not race with us this time and I welcome Craig to the team,” said Al-Kuwari. “We have to keep our concentration this week. Back-to-back races mean that we need to focus and keep the boat running to get the most points. Damaging the boat or the engines could have serious repercussions. We will support Jay as far as we can to make sure that he takes the best result possible. There are still 10 races to go, so it is too early to talk about the championship or a new race strategy.”
Liuzhou is situated 2,033km south-west of Shanghai and 3,535km from Beijing and is known for its auto production. The ‘Dragon City’ is also renowned for its pharmaceutical industries, steel production, fruit, sugar cane and silk. It will host technical scrutineering and documentation on Monday (October 5th).
Competitive race action gets underway on Tuesday (October 6th) with one-hour of free practice on the course from 09.30hrs (local time). The time trials start at 11.15hrs and the first Grand Prix of Liuzhou will run for a minimum of 30 minutes and starts at 15.00hrs (10.00hrs Doha time).
There is a similar timetable of events on Wednesday (October 7th), with free practice and time trials preceding the start of the second Grand Prix of Liuzhou at 15.00hrs (10.00 hrs Doha time).
2009 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after 6 of 16 races:
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 65 pts
2. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 55 pts
3. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 52 pts
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 47 pts
5. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 37 pts
6. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 34 pts
7. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 30 pts, etc
2009 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship – positions after 6 of 16 rounds:
1. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 94 pts
2. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 69 pts
3. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 63 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 53 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 42 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 26 pts
7. Massimo Roggiero (I) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 20 pts
8. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente 19 pts
9. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 15 pts
10. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 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).