F1 Guido Cappellini wins Qatar Grand Prix in Doha Bay
2009 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Qatar, Doha – November 27th-28th, rounds 11 of 16
For immediate release
Friday, November 27th, 2009
QATAR’S PRICE SUFFERS CRUEL LUCK AND
LOSES QATAR GRAND PRIX LEAD ON SIXTH LAP
· Guido Capellini takes victory in Friday’s dramatic Qatar Grand Prix
· Qatar Team’s rookie Malcolm Goodman finishes sensational fifth overall
DOHA (Qatar): Team Qatar’s Jay Price led from the third to the sixth lap of the Qatar Grand Prix, round 11 of the UIM F1 World Championship, on Friday afternoon.
But the defending World Champion was forced out of the race with transmission-related problems, as Italian nine-time World Champion Guido Cappellini boosted his 2009 world title chances with a 60th career win and sensational Qatar Team rookie Malcolm Goodman finished a superb fifth overall after the drive of the day in Doha Bay and one of the finest debut drives in the history of F1 racing.
Second position for Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi was sufficient for the Emirati to regain a seven-point lead in the UIM F1 Drivers’ Championship.
Goodman qualified at the rear of the field for the first of the weekend’s races in his Dragon boat, but his lack of experience was irrelevant. The Briton drove a superb race to finish fifth overall, making a mockery of the fact that he only sat in the boat for the first time on Friday morning.
“I honestly felt like crying at the end of the race,” said a delighted Goodman. “I didn’t really have chance to think about the position during the race. I had no power steering for the first few laps and it was really tiring until I flicked the switch and it was working. But I managed to fend off Pierre Lundin and Jonas Andersson and actually got held up by Guido Cappellini near the finish! It was a great start for me in F1.”
“No points today for Jay, but there are still 100 points to fight for and plenty of chances tomorrow to get back into contention,” said His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “Malcolm drove a very good first race for us, so we can look ahead with confidence to Saturday.”
Price started race one immediately behind Selio and admitted that he would have preferred not to have Cappellini running third. “I was confident of getting the better of Sami into the first buoy, but Guido starts well and that was my concern,” said Price minutes before the start. “Bumping is racing,” joked Price, as the mind games started with rival Selio.
Al-Hameli jumped the start and a ragged few minutes unravelled, with Selio holding the lead through lap one and Cappellini stealing the line on Price to take second. But all the boats were called back to a restart and Selio managed to pull away from Price and Cappellini through the first two laps, as the Team Abu Dhabi duo ran penalty laps and Selio dramatically stopped with mechanical problems on lap three.
Price led by 1.69s through lap four and Goodman, who was eventually moved up to 16th on the grid following Tomas Cermak’s time trial crash and problems for Francesco Cantando, held 11th through four laps. But Price was forced out of the race lead on lap six and Cappellini inherited the top spot from Phillipe Chiappe and a flying Al-Hameli in third place. Goodman climbed to 10th overall and gradually moved further up the field to hold a sensational sixth position through lap 19.
Al-Qamzi managed to pass Chiappe and apply some pressure on Cappellini heading into the closing minutes of the race, as the Italian chased the 60th F1 victory of his illustrious career. Guido settled into a comfortable pace at the head of the pack, as Al-Qamzi, Fabio Comparato and Chiappe trailed in his wake. Goodman managed to fend off a fierce challenge from Pierre Lundin for sixth place and championship leader Andersson, as his drive became the story of the day in Doha Bay. He even moaned about being held up by Cappellini..!
Timed trials and practice
Selio set the pace through the opening 10 minutes of the crucial time trial, the Finn posting the target time of 44.18s, with Price settling into second place with 44.44s and Cappellini, Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi in close attention.
Goodman’s first ever qualifying lap was a tour of 53.36s and it pushed the Qatar Team driver into 13th place, much to the delight of team management in Doha. He followed that with a 50.89s, showing none of the nerves normally associated with an F1 debut.
Price needed to pass Selio to maintain his lead in the UIM F1 Pole Position Championship. He held a two-point lead heading into the lunchtime trials, but an extended yellow flag period for Tomas Cermak’s crash deprived the World Champion of vital minutes to improve on his qualifying time and he slipped three points behind the Finn after 11 rounds.
“There was a little time at the end of the session to push for the Pole, but I remember last time we tried that here and I ended up flipping the boat,” said Price. “So, it was a case of getting the right set-up for the race. You are never altogether happy with second – winning is winning – but it was a good position to be in.”
The ship containing the Qatar Team’s race boat eventually docked in Doha just after nightfall on Thursday evening and the equipment arrived at the race village around 21.00hrs. The QMSF team worked until 04.00hrs to prepare the Qatar Team’s DAC for scrutineering and the start of free practice on Friday morning. It was a close call.
UIM commissioner Duke Waldrop warned drivers at the briefing that the flat conditions in Doha Bay may be deceptive, but it didn’t stop Ahmed Al-Hameli posting the fastest time in the free practice session with a tour of 44.63s during his 17-lap stint. Price held second place after 30 minutes and eventually finished runner-up, a mere 0.02s behind Al-Hameli, after a marathon 31-lap test session.
It was a baptism of fire for Goodman; the Dragon boat driver complained of a minor steering problem and team chief Andy Elliott admitted that a propeller change was on the cards for the changeable water conditions. But the Briton was in resurgent form through the one-hour mark and posted an impressive lap of 49.35s to lift Qatar 2 well off the foot of the results table on his F1 debut.
Timetable of events – Saturday, November 28th
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 2 – round 12
15.45 hrs Prize giving ceremony
2009 Grand Prix of Qatar – race 1 results (Friday)
1. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi @ 8.17s
3. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team @ 11.75s
4. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team @ 38.50s
5. Malcolm Goodman (QA) F1 Team Qatar 1 lap behind
6. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China Team 1 lap behind
7. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 1 lap behind
8. Fabian Kalsow (D) CTIC China Team 1 lap behind
2009 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after 11 of 16 races:
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 103 pts
2. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 96 pts
3. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 89 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 83 pts
5. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 70 pts
6. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 58 pts
7. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 55 pts
8. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 54 pts
9. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 52 pts
2009 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship – positions after 11 of 16 rounds:
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 153 pts
2. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 150 pts
3. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 119 pts
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 111 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 71 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 50 pts
7. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 36 pts
8. Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente 26 pts
9. Massimo Roggiero (I) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 20 pts
10. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 7 pts
11. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 5 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).