F1 Jonas Andersson heads points' standings on eve of Qatar Grand Prix
2009 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Qatar, Doha – November 27th-28th, rounds 11 /12 of 16
For immediate release
Thursday, November 26th, 2009
SWEDEN’S JONAS ANDERSSON TOPS THE POINTS’
STANDINGS HEADING INTO QATAR GP SHOWDOWN
· Qatar Team faces scramble against the clock to be ready for free practice
· Teams make final preparations for back-to-back races in Doha Bay
DOHA (Qatar): Sweden’s Jonas Andersson, the winner of last year’s Grand Prix of Qatar, will take a slender four-point lead in the UIM F1 Drivers’ Championship into Friday and Saturday’s 11th and 12th rounds of the UIM F1 World Championship in Doha Bay.
While the Qatar Team’s Jay Price would dearly like to thrill home crowds on the demanding home course with his first-ever home race win and his sixth F1 GP triumph in two years, the priority for the QMSF driver is to remain in title contention.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi will also be hoping to lay the ghost of last year’s Doha engine woes to rest. The Emirati is Andersson’s closest challenger after 10 races and, like Price, has suffered his own fair share of cruel luck this season.
Finland’s Sami Selio won the world title in 2007 and has shot into title contention over the last two rounds, the Finn taking a win at both the Liuzhou and Shenzhen race meetings in an impressive 49-point haul, where Price only amassed 15 points and Al-Qamzi claimed 23.
The record-breaking Guido Cappellini also launched himself back into the title race with a win in Shenzhen and a second in Liuzhou, proving that the UIM F1 World Championship is the closest race series in the UIM’s armoury.
Eighteen drivers, including Qatar’s F1 debutant Malcolm Goodman, are expected to line-up at the start of the first Doha race on Friday afternoon and the title contenders know that the pressure is on with a possible 120 points available over the course of the next three race meetings in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The 2009 Qatar Grand Prix is being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and the auspices of the UIM. “We had a successful weekend’s racing with the new H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Championship last week and this attracted great interest in Qatar,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “We welcome teams and officials from the UIM F1 World Championship this week and wish them all a safe and successful two days’ racing in Doha.”
The Qatar Team faced a race against time to prepare their two race boats and all the equipment for the start of the free practice session on Friday morning. The boat containing the race boats, spares and the team’s hospitality tent and covered working area was scheduled to dock in Doha shortly after nightfall on Thursday evening.
“It shouldn’t be a problem,” said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, Head of Formula Racing at the QMSF. “The team is briefed and ready to go. Even if we have to work through the night to get ready we will do that. Brendan (Power) tells me that we can get the boats ready in about three hours from receiving the spares so we should be okay and the UIM F1 race officials have been very understanding of the situation.”
Timetable of events – Friday, November 27th
09.15 hrs – 10.15 hrs Free practice
10.30 hrs – 11.00 hrs Two-seater VIP rides
11.15 hrs – 12.00 hrs Timed trials
14.45 hrs Parade lap
15.00 hrs – 15.45 hrs Grand Prix of Qatar 1 – round 11
15.45 hrs Prize giving ceremony
For further information:
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