C1 Spirit of Qatar Team withdraws from Sky Dive Dubai Grand Prix
2012 UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
Dubai Grand Prix, December 13-15, 2012
For immediate release
Saturday, December 15th, 2012
SPIRIT OF QATAR TEAM WITHDRAWS
FROM SKY DIVE DUBAI GRAND PRIX
· Sheikh Hassan confirms Qatar Team will not race in Abu Dhabi
· Spirit of Qatar 96 crew second quickest in second official practice
DUBAI (UAE): After taking an emphatic victory in Friday’s Emirates Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, Steve Curtis, Ali Al-Neama and Matteo Nicolini dramatically withdrew the Spirit of Qatar Team boats from Saturday’s Sky Dive Dubai Grand Prix, race two at the penultimate round of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.
Along with the crew of Fendi Racing 10, the decision was taken to boycott the race on the grounds that the racecourse had been changed at the 11th hour to ‘suit’ the Victory 3 boat.
“I just had the feeling that this may happen,” said a disappointed Sheikh Hassan, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and driver of Spirit of Qatar 96. “The course was changed 30 minutes before the race was supposed to start and that is clearly unfair.
“The rules clearly state that all boats must be at the start pontoon at 2.30pm and, at that time, Victory 3 was still in the pits having the gear ratios changed to suit the new course with no penalties imposed at all.
“We all want to race on a level playing field and this was very clearly unfair. We have now decided that the Spirit of Qatar Team will not now participate in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend.”
Fendi Racing set the fastest time in the second successive practice session with a best lap of 3min 10.55sec after just two laps on the water. Spirit of Qatar 96 also ran for two laps and slotted into second position with a lap of 3min 13.07sec. Eight boats took to the water, but Spirit of Qatar 95 was not among them.
Sky Dive Dubai Grand Prix – race results
1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3 13 laps
2. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 @ 8.77sec
3. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7 @ 48.36sec
4. Christian Zaborowski (NOR)/Ugur Isik (TUR) Zabo-Isiklar 91 @ 1min 28.25sec
5. Luca Nicolini (ITA)/Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23 2 laps behind
Yngve Bratland (NOR)/Bjorge Jacobsen (NOR) Subsea Pilot Racing 8 DNS
Guido Cappellini (MON)/Giampaolo Montavoci (ITA) Spirit of Gabon/Poliform DNF
Luca Formilli-Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) Luca Fendi Racing 10 DNS
Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96 DNS
Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95 DNS
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