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F1 Jay Price takes superb victory for Qatar Team in Sharjah

2009 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

10th Grand Prix of Sharjah, UAE – December 10th, round 15 of 16

 

For immediate release

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

 

QATAR’S PRICE SEALS STUNNING WIN IN SHARJAH

TO SET UP GRANDSTAND FINISH TO UIM F1 SEASON

 

·        Price set for Friday’s title showdown with Cappellini and Al-Qamzi

·        Qatar’s Malcolm Goodman loses eighth place with engine problems

·        Qatar’s Price claims Pole Position and sets fastest practice time

 

SHARJAH (UAE): Qatar’s Jay Price led from start to finish after one of the greatest drives of his career to take victory in Thursday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah, round 15 of the 2009 UIM F1 World Championship, on Khalid Lagoon.

 

The defending World Champion now heads into the final race of the year on Friday afternoon with a fantastic opportunity of retaining his world title. Championship leader Guido Cappellini finished third overall and now has 141 points, with fourth-placed Thani Al-Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi on 128 points and Price on 125. Despite finishing second overall in the race, 2007 champion Sami Selio cannot now win the championship and Sweden’s Jonas Andersson is also out of the running after finishing in sixth place.

 

With 20 points available for win, 15 for second and 12 for third overall, Friday’s showdown promises to be a sensational end to an enthralling season of power boat racing.

 

“The strategy was to go out there and try and win,” said Price, who duly claimed his seventh career F1 GP victory and his fourth of the season. “I got the Pole Position and everything else went perfectly today. Now we need a bit more of the same on Friday and then it’s down to what happens during the race.”

 

The Qatar Team runs under the auspices of 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, Head of Formula Racing at the QMSF.

 

Al-Kuwari was delighted with the team’s performance: “We set out our stall to take Pole Position and go and try and win the race. It all went according to plan. The team is working superbly and this is proof that we are now back as a major force in F1. Yes, we had some bad luck in the middle of the season and that may or may not cost us the chance to take the second title on Friday, but we have proved in the last few races that we will be the team to beat in 2010.

 

“All we can do in the last race is the same again. Jay knows what he has to do. Results will need to go our way on the day, but we are ready and it is going to be very exciting. I was watching Guido today and he was taking it easy to make sure that he didn’t make a mistake. He knows what he has to do as well. We will see what happens on Friday.”

 

The race

 

After a parade lap led by F1 racing legends Bill Seebold and Renato Molinari, Price started from Pole Position, with Selio and Capellini breathing down his neck. It was possible for Cappellini to clinch his 10th world title in this race unless Price took outright victory and the pressure was mounting as the seconds ticked down to the green flag in cloudy and calm conditions.

 

Price made a superb start and headed off into the distance, but an incident involving Phillipe Chiappe and Francesco Cantando forced a yellow flag situation. Fabio Comparato also had a damaged boat, as the race restarted with drivers returning to their qualifying order behind the pace boat. Goodman held 12th position.

 

Price maintained a good lead through the next two laps, Goodman surged up to eighth and Cappellini held third position. The Qatar Team driver’s lead was 3.73s after lap seven. Only 11 of the original 18 boats were still running, as Price held a 2.94s lead through lap 13. Cappellini appeared to be cruising in third place in a bid to score as many points as possible, as Goodman maintained eighth and remained on track for three championship points.

 

The race settled into a pattern; Selio kept the pressure on Price for the lead and Cappellini was a distant third and heading both Al-Hameli and Al-Qamzi. Goodman’s superb run ended with engine problems on lap 21. Price’s lead was 4.3s after 26 laps and it meant that the outcome of the World Championship would go down to the wire on Friday. He extended his lead to 6.77s after lap 29 and began to close in on a seventh F1 career victory.

 

Price closed in to lap fifth-placed Al-Qamzi through 34 laps and his lead stretched to 6.26s with the fastest lap of the race so far – a tour of 50.88s. Al-Hameli slowed and permitted Al-Qamzi to slot into fourth place, as the race entered the final two laps and Pierre Lundin stopped and lost seventh place.

 

But the Qatar Team driver maintained his composure to take victory by a margin of 8.89s and set up a sensational finish to the year on Friday afternoon. He also moved into a 17-point lead in the Fast Lap Slam Trophy.

 

Timed trials and free practice

 

Price was the man in form in the crucial timed trials and collected 20 points towards his UIM F1 Pole Position challenge for claiming the fastest lap of 49.44s in a thrilling session. It was sufficient to pip Selio by just 0.08s and move the Qatar Team driver within two points of the Finn before the final timed trial of the season on Friday morning. “I did what I needed to do and that was to give myself the best possible chance of winning the race,” enthused Price. “It has also set up a grandstand finish to the timed trials on Friday.”

 

Cappellini lined up behind the two Pole rivals in third position, but disappointing runs for Al-Qamzi and Andersson meant that it was advantage Cappellini for the world title after the timed trials. Goodman ran for nine laps and set the 16th fastest lap of 55.76s in his Dragon boat.

 

Price had set out his stall for the weekend by setting the fastest lap in the free practice session. The Team Qatar driver posted a 49.84s tour during his 27-lap stint and this was comfortably quicker than Sami Selio could muster. Goodman ran for four laps and was down in 15th with a lap of 55.64s.

 

Tomorrow (Friday), there will be a second free practice session, the final timed trials of the season and the Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 2009 UIM F1 World Championship, starts at 14.50hrs (Doha time).

 

2009 Grand Prix of Sharjah  – race 1 results (Thursday)

1.

Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar

 

2.

Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock

@ 8.89s

3.

Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team

@ 52.65s

  4.

Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi

  1 lap behind

5.

Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

1 lap behind

6.

Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan

1 lap behind

 

2009 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after 15 of 16 races:

1.

Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team

141 pts

2.

Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi

128 pts

3.

Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar

 125 pts

4.

Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock

115 pts

5.

Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan

109 pts

6.

Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team

86 pts

7.

Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi

      84 pts

8.

Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team

82 pts

 

2009 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship – positions after 15 of 16 rounds:

1.

Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock

208 pts

2.

Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar

206 pts

3.

Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team

175 pts

4.

Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi

144 pts

5.

Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi

71 pts

5.

Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan

71 pts

7.

Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team

46 pts

8.

Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team

29 pts

9.

Pierre Lundin (S) Team CTIC China-Charente

26 pts

10.

Massimo Roggiero (I) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock

20 pts

11.

Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team

19 pts

12.

Duarte Benavente (P) F1 Atlantic Team

5 pts

 

Ends

  

For further information:

Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

 

www.qmsf.org

www.f1boat.com

Date issued: 10/12/2009

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