Match Race victory for Qatar Team in F2000 GP of France

Round 2 - Grand Prix of France, St. Nicolas de Redon

For immediate release
Sunday, June 20th, 2004


Qatari ace Price takes Match Race victory; Engine problems thwart Qatar's Mohamad Al-Ali

SAINT NICOLAS DE REDON (France): The Qatar Team enjoyed a successful weekend's racing in the second round of the 2004 Formula 2000 UIM Championship, when American team leader Jay Price won the Match Race at the Grand Prix of France at Saint Nicolas de Redon on Saturday. He went on to finish third overall in Sunday's F2000 Grand Prix race.

~It was an excellent weekend for the Qatar Team,~ said Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation and the Qatar Team Manager. ~Jay was delighted with his success in the Match Race and that set us up for an excellent weekend. The competition was not easy, but he has a lot of experience and raced very well indeed on Sunday.~

Price and Qatar team mate Mohamad Al-Ali began the weekend with 42 points and the outright lead in the F2000 UIM Championship. Points are awarded for three disciplines on race weekend and Price emerged victorious from a thrilling Match Race, after beating a strong field of racers from nine countries.

To win the Grand Finale at the helm of his SST-120, 2.0-litre-powered DAC, the American beat Norway's Rick Hakonsen (who had beaten him on round one in Croatia last month), Frenchman Phillipe Tourre in an RMC Team Moolgaard, the Italian Ivan Brigada and the Englishman Owen Jelf in the final run.

Jelf recorded a career-best 1m 03.20s, but it was not enough to beat Price's time of 1m 02.48s for the triumphant Qatar Team. The Match Race was open to the 16 fastest boats and they lined up in pairs to tackle two timed laps before the winners went forward to the next round.

Brigada won the Speed Record Test with a maximum speed of 175.3 km/h, with fellow Italian and Boat GP Speed Record holder Mattia Turati in second position with 170.00 km/h. Qatar Team's Jay Price finished in third overall with a time of 167.1 kms and Frenchman Bruno Corsin returned from a serious neck injury to take fourth with 166.3 km/h.

All eyes then turned to Sunday's Grand Prix of France, where 25 boats from nine countries initially challenged for honours. The Qatar Team needed a podium finish to ensure that they maintained the advantage in the overall F2000 UIM points' standings. An accident at the off meant that there was a rolling start and Italy's Ivan Brigada soon built up an advantage over Britain's second-placed Owen Jelf and Price in the third-placed Qatar Team DAC.

~Jay had a problem with his propeller in Croatia and we fitted a different propeller for this race,~ said an on-event team spokesman. ~But it was a good race for the team and that puts us in a strong position for the rest of the season. Weather conditions were ideal.~

~Mohamad was up against it from the start on Saturday,~ added Doha-based Sheikh Hassan. ~He broke the engine on Saturday and was unable to qualify for a grid position for the Grand Prix. But he set a fast time on Sunday morning and was able to start the race from the back of the field and finished outside the top positions.~

The Saint Nicolas de Redon race ran over a five-pin, 1900 m course under the auspices of the UIM and was the second event of the season. Free practice and further time trials took place on Saturday.

The next round of the seven-event F2000 series takes place in Milan, Italy, on July 25th, with subsequent races in Latvia, Ibiza, Abu Dhabi and Qatar to follow later in the year.


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services,
(Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com)


Date issued: 20/06/2004

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