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C1 Sheikh Hassan wins Emirates Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix in Spirit of Qatar 96

2012 UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP

Dubai Grand Prix, December 13-15, 2012

For immediate release
Friday, December 14th, 2012

SPIRIT OF QATAR 96’S SHEIKH HASSAN WINS
EMIRATES DUBAI DUTY FREE GRAND PRIX

· Victory 3 in second; Fendi Racing snatches third place
· Sheikh Hassan and Ali Al-Neama qualify in second and fourth
· Spirit of Qatar crews second and fourth in practice; Fendi fastest

DUBAI (UAE): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and throttleman Steve Curtis delivered a stunning victory in the Emirates Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, race one at the penultimate round of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, off the coast of Dubai on Friday.

They mastered the rough conditions to perfection after qualifying Spirit of Qatar 96 in second position behind Victory 3 for the first of the weekend’s two races. The race win – a first for the pair together in the UAE – came with a winning margin of 14.72 seconds and gave them a five-point lead in the 2012 UIM Class 1 Middle East Powerboat Championship with three races remaining.

Ali Al-Neama and Matteo Nicolini were classified in fourth in the Edox Pole Position on Friday morning, but they failed to start the race after noticing some damage to the boat’s hull before the start.

Pole position for the Victory 3 crew of Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Mohammed Al-Marri meant that they claimed the 2012 UIM Class 1 Pole Position World Championship title with one race remaining and they remain favourites to clinch the outright world title.

Fendi Racing’s Luca Formilli-Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella finished third and Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori were fourth.

“It’s a great win for us and it keeps us on track for the Middle East Championship,” said a delighted Sheikh Hassan, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and driver of Spirit of Qatar 96.

“Fendi made a good start with the acceleration and we decided to sit back for a bit and see what developed. We got a good feeling and managed to get passed Fendi and then stay behind Victory for several laps waiting for the right moment to pounce, a bit like hunting down a duck. It was a big rough and bumpy, just as we wanted it, and we made our move and managed to pass and held on to win.

“After the Pole Position we noticed that there was a crack at the back of Ali’s and Matteo’s boat so they decided not to risk damaging or losing the boat, but should be okay for Saturday.”

Emirates - Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix

The Spirit of Qatar crews lined up in second and fourth places with Victory 3 leading the way from the green flag and Fendi Racing holding third for the 12-lap race. Fendi Racing and Victory 3 held sway through the start lap and began to pull clear of Spirit of Qatar 96, but there was no sign of Spirit of Qatar 95.

Victory 3 found its way into the lead on lap three and Spirit of Qatar 96 also passed Fendi to take second position and trailed the defending champions by 11.65 seconds.

By one-third distance, Victory had extended its lead to 14.31 seconds and Fendi Racing had regained second position from Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis. The outright lead rose to 19.19seconds through lap five as Spirit of Qatar 96 retained a distant third.

But Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis were in determined mood and managed to sneak through into the lead and reached the chequered flag with a winning margin of 14.72 seconds to record their third win together and their first as a team pairing in the UAE. The result also means that Spirit of Qatar 96 has a five-point lead in the UIM Class 1 Middle East Championship with three races to run.

Edox Pole Position

The Spirit of Qatar Team 96 and 95 boats held and fourth after the first few minutes of the Edox Pole Position with best laps of 3min 20.99sec and 3min 25.90sec, respectively. Victory 3 set the target time of 3min 14.64sec on their first lap and Fendi Racing slotted into second with a first lap of 3min 20.55sec.

Spirit of Qatar 96 took to the water again some minutes later and shaved over four seconds off their first lap with an impressive 3min 16.45sec tour to lift them into second at the expense of Fendi Racing. Spirit of Qatar 95 lost fourth to Team Abu Dhabi before regaining it late on with a best lap of 3min 22.94sec.

Pole Position for Victory 3 meant that they clinched the 2012 UIM Class 1 Pole Position World Championship with one race to spare and Spirit of Qatar 96 displaced Team Abu Dhabi to take second position in the Pole Position points’ standings.

Free practice

Fendi Racing topped the timings in the first official practice session of the weekend with a best tour of 3min 18.68sec coming on the Italians’ third lap. Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis ran for two laps to finalise the set-up for qualifying and a 3min 21.19sec second lap was the result. Spirit of Qatar 95 was out on the water for four timed laps and the best was a tour of 3min 27.98sec, which put them fourth behind Victory 3.

The Spirit of Qatar crews will be allowed a further practice session on Saturday morning in advance of the longer Sky Dive Dubai Grand Prix at 14.00hrs (15.00hrs UAE time). This will run over a start lap, 14 race laps and a distance of 68.37Nm.

Emirates Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix – race results
1 Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96 12 laps
2 Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3 @ 14.72sec
3 Luca Formilli-Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) Luca Fendi Racing 10 @ 35.56sec
4. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 @ 2min 46.69sec
5. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7 @ 3min 07.04sec
6. Christian Zaborowski (NOR)/Ugur Isik (TUR) Zabo-Isiklar 91 1 lap behind
7. Luca Nicolini (ITA)/Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23 2 laps behind
Yngve Bratland (NOR)/Bjorge Jacobsen (NOR) Subsea Pilot Racing 8 DNF
Guido Cappellini (MON)/Giampaolo Montavoci (ITA) Spirit of Gabon/Poliform DNF
Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95 DNS

2012 Dubai Grand Prix – Edox Pole Position results
1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3 3min 14.54sec
2. Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96 3min 16.45sec
3. Luca Formilli-Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) Luca Fendi Racing 10 3min 18.92sec
4. Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95 3min 22.94sec
5. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 3min 23.35sec
6. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7 3min 28.06sec
7. Christian Zaborowski (NOR)/Ugur Isik (TUR) Zabo-Isiklar 91 3min 33.06sec
8. Guido Cappellini (MON)/Giampaolo Montavoci (ITA) Spirit of Gabon/Poliform 3min 35.63sec
9. Yngve Bratland (NOR)/Bjorge Jacobsen (NOR) Subsea Pilot Racing 8 3min 45.08sec
10. Luca Nicolini (ITA)/Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23 4min 05.77sec 

2012 UIM Class One World Powerboat Championships – current standings
1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3 110 pts
2. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 85 pts
3. Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96 73 pts
4. Luca Formilli-Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) Luca Fendi Racing 10 50 pts
5. Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95 45 pts
6. Ugur Isik (TUR)/Christian Zaborowski (NOR) Zabo-Isiklar 91 27 pts
7. Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA)/Luca Nicolini (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23 11 pts
8. Guido Cappellini (MON)/Giampaolo Montavoci (ITA) Spirit of Gabon/Poliform 9 pts
9. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7 7 pts
10. Paul Gaiser (BRZ)/Bjorge Jacobsen(NOR) Welmax Offshore 90 5 pts

2012 UIM Class One Middle East Powerboat Championships – current standings
1. Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96 52 pts
1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3 47 pts
3. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 39 pts
4. Luca Formilli-Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) Luca Fendi Racing 10 19 pts
5. Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95 9 pts
6. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7 7 pts
7. Ugur Isik (TUR)/Christian Zaborowski (NOR) Zabo-Isiklar 91 5 pts
8. Luca Nicolini (ITA)/Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23 4 pts

2012 UIM Class One Pole Position Championship – current standings
1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3 75 pts
2. Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96 50 pts
3. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 43 pts
4. Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95 28 pts
5. Luca Formilli Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) LFF10 21 pts
6. Paul Gaiser (BRZ)/Bjorge Jacobsen(NOR) Welmax Offshore 90 16 pts
7. Welmax 9 12 pts
8. Guido Cappellini (MON)/Giampaolo Montavoci (ITA) Spirit of Gabon/Poliform 74 8 pts
8. Ugur Isik (TUR)/Christian Zaborowski (NOR) Zabo-Isiklar 91 8 pts
10. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7 5 pts
11. Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA)/Luca Nicolini (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23 4 pts
12. Yngve Bratland (NOR)/Bjorge Jacobsen (NOR) Subsea Pilot Racing 8 2 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.class-1.com

 


 

Date issued: 14/12/2012

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