F1 Jay Price crashes out of Grand Prix of Liuzhou in China
2009 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Liuzhou, China – October 6th-7th, rounds 7/8 of 16
For immediate release
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
QATAR TEAM’S JAY PRICE CRASHES OUT OF GRAND PRIX OF LIUZHOU
· Finland’s Sami Selio seals Liuzhou race victory; second for Italy’s Cantando
· Australian Craig Bailey retires with engine-related problems
· Qatar’s Price starts Liuzhou race from second and extends Pole Championship lead
LIUZHOU (China): F1 Team Qatar suffered a disappointing run of luck in the first Grand Prix of Liuzhou on the Liu River in China on Tuesday. Defending World Champion, Jay Price, had climbed back from eighth to third after a poor start and was pushing hard for second position when he barrel-rolled out of the race on the 22nd lap and team debutant Craig Bailey retired with engine problems.
A high rate of attrition – which also accounted for both Team Abu Dhabi boats – meant that Pole Position winner Sami Selio clinched maximum points and rekindled his title challenge. Italy’s Francesco Cantando was second overall and Sweden’s Pierre Lundin completed the top three. The result means that Al-Qamzi retains a six-point lead in the UIM F1 Drivers’ Championship from Sweden’s Jonas Andersson, with Price pushed down to third position.
“It was just our bad luck today,” said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, Head of Formula Racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“These things happen in racing, but Jay is a fierce competitor and I don’t think anyone else would have been capable of pushing back from eighth to third after a poor start and challenging for second. That sums up the fighting spirit in Jay. The boat is damaged and we may have to revert to the spare for the second race on Wednesday. Team Abu Dhabi had bad luck as well, so the rest of the field have bunched up and it is very close now for the championship. But we are not even half-way through the season.”
Price had qualified second for the first of two races on the Liu River and duly extended his lead in the UIM F1 Pole Position Championship from 25 to 28 points. The race start was split into two sections on safety grounds and Cappellini was forced to start from the rear of the field after changing an engine after the qualifying session. This lifted Cantando and Al-Qamzi into fourth and fifth places and moved Bailey up at the rear of the field.
Price made a poor start after a coming-together and Al-Hameli was the man to benefit. The Team Abu Dhabi driver managed to squeeze past Selio as well and held a four-second lead after three laps, as Price slipped to seventh place – a position he maintained through lap eight. The Qatar driver began a charge over the subsequent laps and managed to pass Andersson and close in on Lundin, when the yellow flag was raised when race leader Al-Hameli stopped and handed the lead back to Selio.
Al-Qamzi managed to pass Cantando when the race action resumed and settled into second position behind Selio. Price was embroiled in a fierce tussle with Lundin and Andersson and the World Champion’s charge resulted in a push for fourth place. Al-Qamzi hit trouble and dropped out of contention, as Selio led from Cantando, Lundin and Price heading into the closing stages of the race. Bailey’s F1 race return with the Qatar Team ended with engine-related problems.
But Price’s Liuzhou dream ended in dramatic fashion on lap 22, when the Qatar Team driver barrel-rolled in spectacular fashion and the impact ripped the canopy from his DAC. Osprey Rescue were quickly on the scene and Price emerged unharmed from the crash, but it was a savage blow to F1 Team Qatar’s Chinese challenge, with a second race on Wednesday and little time to repair the boat before Shenzhen in two weeks’ time.
Selio managed to hold on through 28 laps to take the chequered flag and a much-needed 20 points, with Cantando, Lundin and Phillipe Chiappe completing the top four. Andersson and Comparato were fifth and sixth, as the title race was pushed wide open.
Time trials and practice
Price qualified second for the race, after Selio snatched pole position near the end of the session with a fastest lap of 42.90s. The Qatar driver raced for 15 laps to record a best tour of 43.37s and eventually finished 0.13 seconds in front of Al-Hameli. The 15 points earned were sufficient to extend the Qatar Team driver’s lead in the UIM F1 Pole Position Championship to 28 points.
Cappellini, Francesco Cantando and Al-Qamzi completed the top six. F1 Team Qatar’s new recruit, Craig Bailey, began his first qualifying session in F1 since 1999 and recorded the 17th fastest time in his Mercury-engined Dragon with a time of 49.47s.
Cappellini had been the man to beat in the morning’s free practice session, the Italian recording a session-best lap of 43.48s. Price ran for 26 laps to shakedown his DAC and settled into second position with a best tour of 43.56s. Bailey was down in 15th position with a time of 50.16s, but Sweden’s Jonas Andersson blotted his copybook by rolling out of the session.
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 10.00 hrs (Doha time).
Grand Prix of Liuzhou – race 1 results (Tuesday – unofficial)
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock
2. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team
3. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente
4. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team
5. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan
6. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team
7. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team
2009 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after 7 of 16 races:
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 65 pts
2. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 59 pts
3. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 55 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 54 pts
5. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 47 pts
6. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 42 pts
7. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 37 pts
8. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 34 pts, etc
2009 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship – positions after 7 of 16 rounds:
1. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 109 pts
2. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 81 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 73 pts
4. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 72 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 42 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 31 pts
7. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 22 pts
8. Massimo Roggiero (I) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 20 pts
9. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente 19 pts
10. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 7 pts
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