Qatar Team solves engine problems in time for GP of Latvia
FORMULA 2000 UIM CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 4 - Grand Prix of Latvia - Riga, August 21st-22nd
For immediate release
Tuesday, August 17th, 2004
QATAR TEAM SOLVES ENGINE PROBLEMS
AND LOOKS FORWARD TO GP OF LATVIA
Qatar Team aims to pass Pabri-Tech Racing in Latvia;
Qatar's Jay Price bids to extend Match Race series lead
RIGA (Latvia): The Qatar Team is planning to bounce back from the disappointment of withdrawing from last month's Grand Prix of Italy, when team drivers Jay Price and Mohamad Al-Ali tackle the fourth round of the Formula 2000 UIM Championship in Riga, Latvia, this weekend (August 21st-22nd).
The team had arrived in Milan in July with a 16-point lead in the overall Boat GP Championship, but a catalogue of race weekend engine failures meant that neither driver could enter the main GP event on the Sunday. The team did, however, have the consolation of Jay Price collecting valuable points in both day one's Match Race and Speed Record disciplines.
~We managed to get to the bottom of the engine problem, which ruined race day in Italy last month,~ said Qatar Team Manager Mohamed Al-Jaidah. ~The fuel we were using in the boats was 93 octane instead of 99 octane and this brought about the engine failures. It was very disappointing, but at least we know that it was nothing major mechanically with the engines. We have now acquired a fuel tester to ensure that this situation does not occur again.
~The boats will run with the same set-up we planned to use in Italy, but the mechanics have worked hard over the last few days and we should benefit from some minor improvements on race day.~
Prior to this weekend's action along the Latvian Baltic coast, the Qatar Team holds second position in the overall series and trails the Italian Ivan Brigada's Pabri-Tech Racing team by a mere nine points. Both teams are well clear of Matteo Turati's TMP Racing and Britain's Jelf Racing operation.
New Orleans-based Price, 45, currently holds third position in the Formula 2000 Drivers' series, behind arch rivals Brigada and Sweden's Jonas Andersson, although he is well clear of his nearest Swedish rival Pelle Larsson. Price began racing in 1985 and has won multiple T1 awards in Mexico and the United States of America.
Jay has an eight-point outright lead in the Match Race competition - which will be held on Saturday afternoon in Latvia - although Brigada, Britain's Owen Jelf and the Italian Speed Record leader Matteo Turati are handily-placed to mount a serious challenge in Latvia. Price lies nine points behind the Italian in the speed section held against the clock on Saturday after setting the second fastest time last month at Idroscalo Park in Milan.
~Italy was a disappointment, but I am still confident and looking forward to the weekend and potentially taking the win,~ said Price. ~I think that Ivan Brigada and Owen Jelf will be the men to watch, but I would like to think that the Qatar Team can win at least two of the three race disciplines.~
The Qatar Team's second driver Mohamad Al-Ali has endured a miserable start to his season with a series of mechanical problems and the 40-year-old will be looking for a change of fortune this weekend. ~My boat is ready and I am looking for a finish inside the top 10,~ said Doha-based Al-Ali.
~Last weekend was a fantastic one for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation with our first UIM Class One win in Norway,~ said Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, President of the QMSF. ~Now it is the turn of the F2000 team to keep the momentum going and hopefully give us two success stories in as many weekends.~
The Latvian organisers have promoted their event extensively and are expecting a bumper entry of international two-litre boats to descend upon the scenic capital of Riga this weekend, where local hopes rest in the hands of Uvis Slakteris, the Latvian who currently lies fifth overall in the Speed Record competition with 21 points. An average of 22-24 drivers take part in each race.
Time trials, free practice, the Speed Record and Match Race take place on Saturday (August 21st) before the GP of Latvia gets underway on Sunday afternoon.
FORMULA 2000 UIM CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS - AFTER ROUND 3:
1. Ivan Brigada (I) 52 pts
2. Jonas Andersson (S) 29 pts
3. Jay Price (QA) 27 pts
4. Pelle Larsson (S) 18 pts
5. Rich Hakonsen (N) 16 pts
6. Owen Jelf (GB) 15 pts
7. Bruno Carsin (GB) 15 pts, etc
1. Jay Price (QA) 44 pts
2. Ivan Brigada (I) 36 pts
3. Owen Jelf (GB) 30 pts
4. Mattia Turati (I) 21 pts
5. Marc Rolls (GB) 21 pts
6. Rich Hakonsen (N) 20 pts, etc
1. Mattia Turati (I) 39 pts
2. Ivan Brigada (I) 31 pts
3. Jay Price (QA) 30 pts
4. Marc Rolls (GB) 25 pts
5. Uvis Slakteris (LAT) 21 pts, etc
1. Pabri Tech Racing 119 pts
2. Qatar Team 110 pts
3. TMP Racing 67 pts
4. Jelf Racing Team 61 pts
5. PB Racing 60 pts, etc
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