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F1 Qatar's Carella and Price qualify in second and fifth for Liuzhou race

2011 UIM F1 H2O WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of China, Liuzhou - round 5, October 1-2

For immediate release
Saturday, October 1st, 2011

QATAR’S CARELLA AND PRICE QUALIFY IN SECOND
AND FIFTH FOR SUNDAY’S GRAND PRIX OF CHINA

· Qatar’s Carella overhauls Price to lead Pole Position Championship
· Qatar’s Al-Shamlan shadows Sjoholm to F-4S chequered flag

LIUZHOU (China): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Jay Price qualified in second and fifth places for Sunday’s Grand Prix of China on the Liu River in Liuzhou.

Pole Position for the race fell to Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli, but Carella’s flying lap of 47.29s late in the final qualifying session catapulted him into second position and was also sufficient for the youngster to overhaul his Qatar team-mate and take a four-point lead in the 2011 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship.

Torrential rain and low cloud had marred preparations for qualifying on the Liu River, but Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, was relatively content with the result nonetheless.

“Second and fifth is okay for us and our strategy,” said Al-Kuwari. “Yes, we would have liked to take pole position, but we have to think about our equipment and the championship as a whole. Jay and Alex are well clear of their rivals and we need to take no risks in the strategy. The water was a little rough in the morning and the conditions were far from ideal. Now, I suppose, the goal is a podium finish for both our drivers to keep the momentum going.”

Qatar’s Khalid Saleh Al-Shamlan qualified second and finished the first of the weekend’s 20-minute F-4S races in a similar position to maintain his championship challenge. The Qatari shadowed race winner and new series leader Angelica ‘Bimba’ Sjoholm to the chequered flag, with former championship front-runner Matthew Palfreyman down in third place.

Timed trials and qualifying

Price and Carella slotted into fourth and sixth places after the first six minutes of the opening qualifying session, with Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli, Finland’s Sami Selio and Thani Al-Qamzi leading the way.

Team Nautica’s Bartek Marszalek, Australia’s Rhys Coles and Rinaldo Osculati were eliminated from the first session and 15 of the 18 drivers progressed to the second qualifying stint, with Carella and Price moving on from fourth and fifth positions.

Price and Carella were in solid form through the early stages of Q2 and held second and sixth with seven minutes remaining. It was crucial that the duo stayed inside the top 10 to be guaranteed a place in the final 10-boat shoot-out and they eventually finished the session in third and second places respectively. Valerio Lagiannella, Tommy Vahlsten, Duarte Benavente., Marit Stromoy and Phillipe Tourre failed to qualify.

Price stormed into the lead in Q3 with a stunning lap of 48.23s, but he was quickly overhauled by Al-Hameli’s run of 47.81s, as Carella slotted into seventh with a tour of 49.64s. Al-Hameli edged further clear with a staggering time of 47.15s and Price slipped to fourth behind Phillipe Chiappe and Thani Al-Qamzi. Carella was languishing in ninth with a best lap of 49.17s, but leapt up to fifth with a lap of 48.19s. Finland’s Sami Selio then passed Carella and gained fifth.

But the Qatar Team driver produced a stunning reply with three minutes remaining and a lap of 47.29s pushed him up to second place and demoted Price to fifth. The lap also moved him ahead of his team-mate and into a four-point lead in the UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship.

Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe was the surprise winner of the morning’s free practice session, the CTIC China Team driver posting a quickest lap of 49.21s to beat Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli by a mere one hundredth of a second. Price and Carella ran for 11 and 19 laps respectively and slotted into third and fourth positions with fastest laps of 49.48s and 49.87s.

F-4S

Khaled Saleh Al-Shamlan was the only driver to break the one-minute lap barrier in the morning’s free practice session, with a tour of 59.84s, and the Qatari went on to qualify for the race in second position behind Sweden’s Bimba Sjoholm. The pair were in a class of their own, although Bimba edged the Doha driver for pole position by just 0.43s.

Series leader Matthew Palfreyman qualified in fourth and it was the Briton who made the early headway in the race, with Al-Shamlan running in second and Sjoholm occupying third before a yellow flag was raised after three laps. Finland’s Filip Roms was duly sidelined and Sjoholm edged into the lead from Al-Shamlan and Palfreyman.

The trio held station through 16 laps, with Sjoholm running over six seconds in front of Al- Shamlan, who was a similar margin clear of Palfreyman. The Swedish girl held her nerve through the closing four laps to claim victory from Al-Shamlan by 7.19s. Palfreyman was third and China’s Xiong Ziwei was fourth.

Further practice for the F1 and F-4S entrants is permitted on Sunday morning and the second of the F-4S races starts at 13.30hrs (08.30hrs Doha time). The all-important 2011 Grand Prix of China fires into life at 16.00hrs (11.00hrs Doha time) on Sunday afternoon.

Grand Prix of China, Liuzhou – timed trial results
1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 47.15s
2. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 47.29s
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 47.33s
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 47.63s
5. Jay Price (QAT) Qatar Team 47.68s
6. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 48.08s
7. Davide Padovan (ITA) Team Mad Croc F1 48.31s
8. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 48.59s
9. Pierre Lundin (SWE) CTIC China Team 48.60s

2011 UIM F1 H20 Pole Position Championship – standings after round 5
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 65 pts
2. Jay Price (QAT) Qatar Team 61 pts
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 55 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 43 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 31 pts
6. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 26 pts
7. Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Sweden 20 pts
7. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 20 pts
9. Davide Padovan (ITA) Team Mad Croc F1 12 pts
10. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 7 pts

2011 UIM F-4S Championship – standings after race 9
1. Bimba Sjolholm (SWE) Team Sweden 119 pts
2. Matthew Palfreyman (GBR) Team Atlantic 115 pts
3. Khaled Saleh Al-Shamlan (QAT) Qatar Team 101 pts
4. Filip Roms (FIN) Team Mad Croc 85 pts
5. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) Team China 74 pts
6. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (NOR) Team Nautica 60 pts
7. Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 33 pts
8. Christian Carlsen (NOR) Team Singha 19 pts
9. Valts Silis (LAT) Team Singha 12 pts
10. Kristoffer Fjelde (NOR) Team Singha 10 pts
11. Carl-Hampus Lundberg (SWE) Team Nautica 7 pts

Ends

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www.qmsf.org
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Date issued: 01/10/2011

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