F1 Qatar's Jay Price seals fourth place in Grand Prix of Portugal
2010 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Portugal, Portimao – May 8th-9th, round 1 of 8
For immediate release
Sunday, May 9th, 2010
QATAR TEAM’S JAY PRICE FINISHES FOURTH
OVERALL IN 2010 GRAND PRIX OF PORTUGAL
· Portugal race victory for UAE’s Ahmed Al-Hameli
· Qatar’s Andy Elliott seals fine sixth position
PORTIMAO (Portugal): The Qatar F1 Team’s Jay Price overcame all his problems in the time trials on Saturday to fight his way through the field to secure a fine fourth overall in the Grand Prix of Portugal, round one of the 2010 UIM F1 World Championship, on Sunday afternoon.
The 2008 World Champion had taken provisional pole position for the race on Portimao’s Arade River, despite flipping his boat out of the time trials. But the team were forced to change a damaged engine on Saturday night and further engine woes on Sunday morning meant that the Qatar driver had to make his way through the field from 14th position to take an eventual fourth overall. Qatar team colleague Andy Elliott finished an excellent sixth in his Dragon boat.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli began the race from second on the grid and benefited from three yellow flag incidents to surge past Francesco Cantando and repeat the victory he took in Portugal last year. His Emirati colleague Thani Al-Qamzi was third.
“Of course we are happy with fourth position after the problems yesterday and nine championship points is better than nothing,” 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. “It was vital that we came away from Portugal with something and Andy has also driven very well and given us some team points to boost the cause.”
Price was demoted to 10th on the original grid after the time trial competition on Saturday evening and Italy’s Francesco Cantando duly claimed pole position from Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli. The Qatar Team driver was forced to change an engine as well and eventually began the race from 14th of the 17 starters. Elliott moved up to 10th.
Al-Hameli and Cantando headed to the first turn together, but it was a disastrous start for three boats, including Jonas Andersson. They struggled off the start line and the race was yellow flagged on safety grounds, with Price moving up to 12th. Cantando maintained the advantage over Al-Hameli after the restart and Price moved up to eighth through five laps with Elliott holding 10th overall.
Duarte Benavente fell by the wayside with technical issues, as Price surged into sixth position and began to challenge the top five. The race was yellow flagged again, while Rinaldo Osculati’s boat was removed from the course and Al-Hameli managed to surge into the lead on the restart. Price began to pressurise Selio and Al-Hameli for fourth position and Elliott held 11th. The race was yellow flagged for a third time when Selio stalled and the Finn lost his position in the top five.
Al-Hameli retained his lead after the restart, as Cantando and Phillipe Chiappe came under pressure from Al-Qamzi. Marit Stromoy withdrew, Selio began to slip back and Price maintained fifth overall. Elliott was still running in eighth as the race entered the final 17 laps.
The Qatar Team duo were unable to make in-roads into the top three with 10 laps remaining, although Elliott slipped behind Selio and into ninth overall. Chiappe slipped back heading into the final five laps and this promoted Al-Qamzi to third and Price into fourth overall. Elliott also climbed to seventh, as Price began to shave time off Al-Qamzi’s hold on third position.
The former World Champion pushed hard for the podium over the closing laps but was unable to pass the Emirati. The Qatar Team were not unduly disappointed with fourth position after the problems on Saturday. Elliott finished sixth.
Italy’s Alex Carella was the fastest driver out of the blocks with his Team Mad Croc BaBa, before a yellow flag halted proceedings. Price ran for two early laps and recorded a best time of 47.11s before the green flag was raised to restart the session. Elliott took to the water soon after and recorded the eighth fastest lap of 46.18s as all 17 runners were able to ready their boats for the final practice stint.
Elliott slipped to 11th, despite posting a 45.82s lap and eventually finished the session with the 13th fastest time, but Price returned to the water after an engine problem had been rectified and set the fastest time of the stint – a flying 40.22s tour.
2010 Grand Prix of Portugal – results (unofficial @ 15.10hrs)
1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 20 pts
2. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 15 pts
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 12 pts
4. Jay Price (QA) Qatar F1 Team 9 pts
5. Pierre Lundin (S) CTIC China Team 7 pts
6. Andy Elliott (GB) Qatar F1 Team 5 pts
7. Fabian Kalsow (D) F1 Atlantic Team 4 pts
8. Davide Padovan (I) Rainbow Team 3 pts
9. Fabio Comparato (I) 88 Doctor 2 pts
10. Marco Gambi (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 1 pt
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