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NC Gusting desert winds force postponement of UIM Nations Cup sprint races in Qatar

2014 UIM NATIONS CUP – March 10-12, 2014

For immediate release
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

GUSTING DESERT WINDS FORCE POSTPONEMENT
OF UIM NATIONS CUP SPRINT RACES IN QATAR

· Team Italy hold advantage over Team Russia after Match Races
· UIM Nations Cup sprint races rescheduled for Thursday morning
· Qatar Team’s Carella and Torrente prepare for F1 H20 practice

DOHA (QATAR): Gusting desert winds and choppy seas ruined any chance of competitive action in the second UIM Nations Cup on Doha Bay on Wednesday.

The three-day competition looked set for a thrilling finale after a dramatic series of Match Races on Tuesday had seen Team Italy sneak into a seven-point lead over Team Russia heading into the two sprint races on Wednesday.

But series promoters H20 Racing and the host Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) were left with no alternative other than to delay the sprint races until Thursday morning and, when Team Russia and Team Belarus, confirmed that they were able to compete on Thursday, the timetable was amended.

UIM Nations Cup teams from Italy, Russia, Belarus, Malaysia, Lebanon and Qatar will now go head-to-head on Thursday morning before the first extra free practice session of the new season of UIM F1 H20 World Championship racing takes centre stage.

“It was the only decision that our organising teams could make under the unfortunate circumstances,” said His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the QMSF. “The weather was inclement and safety is and always will be the top priority for all concerned.”

Gusting winds up to 30mph had also forced Wednesday morning’s free practice session to be cancelled on safety grounds.

Team Italy had drawn first blood in Tuesday’s Match Race with Stefano Paoletti winning through in the final against Team Russia’s Kostantin Ustinov. His Italian colleague Marco Gambi was beaten into third position by Roman Yandyshev of Team Belarus.

The outcome gave the Italians 43 points and a seven-point advantage over the Russians heading into the two Sprint races. Paoletti beat Team Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari in his first heat and then Vandyshev in his semi-final. Team Qatar now holds fourth position and needs to make up 15 points in the two sprint races on Thursday.

Strong winds and choppy seas had forced the earlier abandonment of official qualifying after 15 minutes on Tuesday as well. Malaysia’s Alffian Bin Kadri and Lebanon’s Lebos Chaguri both rolled at the same corner during the day’s exciting action.

The Qatar Team starts the defence of their UIM Teams’ Championship and Alex Carella starts his campaign for a fourth successive world drivers’ title on Thursday alongside team mate Shaun Toirrente. The team proudly wheeled out the boats with the new colour scheme at the Doha Corniche on Wednesday after a recent successful one-day test in Qatar.

Both Carella and Torrente will be able to take to the water in an extra free practice session on Thursday afternoon from 15.00hrs before the meat of the action takes centre stage on Friday and Saturday.

2014 Qatar Nations Cup – driver positions after Match Race:
1. Stefano Paoletti (Team Italy) 25 pts
2. Kostantin Ustinov (Team Russia) 22 pts
3. Roman Vandyshev (Team Belarus) 20 pts
4. Marco Gambi (ITA) Team Italy 18 pts
5. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar 16 pts
6. Andrey Ovchinnikov (Team Belarus) 15 pts
7. Andrey Panyushkin (Team Russia) 14 pts
8. Mohammed bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia 13 pts
9. Abdullah Gholam Ali  (Team Qatar) 12 pts
10. Alffian Bin Kadri (Team Malaysia) 11 pts
11. Lebos Chaguri (BRA) Team Lebanon 0 pts

2014 Qatar Nations Cup – team positions after Match Race:
1. Team Italy 43 pts
2. Team Russia 36 pts
3. Team Belarus 35 pts
4. Team Qatar 28 pts
5. Team Malaysia 24 pts
6. Team Lebanon 0 pts

10th Grand Prix of Qatar and UIM Nations Cup – updated timetable of events

Thursday, March 13
09.00 - 09.20 UIM Nations Cup sprint race 1 – 24 laps
10.00 - 10.20 UIM Nations Cup sprint race 2 – 24 laps
15.00 - 17.00 Extra free practice – F1 H20
17.30 - 18.00 Driver’s briefing – F1 H20

Ends

For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases). Twitter: @LordPerkins

www.qmsf.org
www.f1h20.com

Date issued: 12/03/2014

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
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