NC Paoletti wins sprint races as Team Belarus win UIM Nations Cup in Qatar
2014 UIM NATIONS CUP – March 10-12, 2014
For immediate release
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
PAOLETTI WINS SPRINT RACES AS TEAM
BELARUS WIN UIM NATIONS CUP IN QATAR
· Team Qatar finishes fourth; Team Italy slip to second position
· 10th Grand Prix of Qatar takes centre stage on Friday in Doha Bay
DOHA (QATAR): Team Belarus deprived Team Italy of glory in a thrilling climax to a weather-interrupted UIM Nations Cup on Doha Bay on Thursday.
Team Italy began the final morning with a seven-point advantage over Team Russia in the points’ standings and a pair of stunning sprint race victories for Stefano Paoletti was sufficient for the Italian to claim the individual glory.
Accidents in the first race for Team Russia’s Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Malkin wrecked their chances of winning the UIM Nations Cup and, when Dmitry Vandyshev was yellow-carded for dangerous driving in the second sprint race and withdrew, it appeared that Team Italy had won.
But Marco Gambi was struggling with ongoing engine problems at the rear of the field and the Italian didn’t finish enough laps to score points towards the Team Italy tally. Vandyshev, on the other hand, had completed 20 of the 24 laps and was awarded 15 points; a decision that handed UIM Nations Cup victory to Team Belarus by a single point.
Team Qatar suffered a disappointing day; other commitments forced Abdullah Ghulam Ali to miss both of the sprint races and Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari could only manage sixth and fourth places.
Sprint race 1
Strong winds, shifting sand and poor visibility had plagued the Doha Bay area on Wednesday evening, but the north-westerly winds abated enough for the sprint races to go ahead as planned on Thursday morning.
Team Italy’s Stefano Paoletti was the winner of a thrilling first sprint race where nearly half the contest ran under a yellow flag after three separate incidents occurred in windy conditions.
Andrey Ovchinnikov of Team Belarus made the early running from the Italian and held the lead through the opening 15 laps, despite the race being stopped on lap seven when Mikhail Kitashev of Team Russia flipped his boat on the back straight and a second yellow was waved on lap 12.
Once Paoletti found a way through and into the lead on lap 16, the Italian began to pull away from the remaining seven boats, but the pack was bunched up together for a third time on lap 20 when Team Russia’s Dmitry Malkin flipped out of second position on the back straight.
The race finished under the third yellow, with Paoletti claiming maximum points for Team Italy from Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri and Ovchinnikov.
Other commitments forced Team Qatar’s Abdullah Ghulam Ali to miss the race and team-mate Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari struggled with his set-up at the rear of the field and finished sixth, thus ending the host nation’s chances of winning the UIM Nations Cup.
The outcome meant that Team Italy would go head-to-head with Team Belarus to decide the outcome of Qatar’s UIM Nations Cup, with Team Russia’s challenge over for another year.
Sprint race 2
Paoletti completed the clean sweep with a start-to-finish victory in the second of the sprint races but that was not sufficient to clinch the UIM Nations Cup for Team Italy.
The Italian came under severe pressure for much of the race from Team Malaysia’s Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri but, when Team Belarus driver Dmitry Vandyshev - who had replaced a tiring Ovchinnikov in the number 10 boat - was yellow carded from fifth position for dangerous driving, the contest looked to be settled in the Italian team’s favour. Gambi was struggling around the course at the rear of the field with engine issues, however, and his failure to score points handed the glory to Team Belarus by the narrowest of margins.
Behind Paoletti, Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri claimed second position and Roman Vandyshev found a way passed fourth-placed Al-Kuwari after eight of the 24 laps to seal third position. Alffian bin Kadri was fifth in the second Team Malaysia boat.
Tomorrow (Friday), the F1 and F-4S racers take centre stage on Doha Bay. The Qatar Team’s three-time world champion Alex Carella and team-mate Shaun Torrente begin their challenge for honours with free practice and qualifying, although they were able to carry out extra free practice on Thursday afternoon.
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly will represent the Qatar Team in the first of two UIM F-4S races for the Eurofin Trophy.
2014 Qatar Nations Cup – sprint race 1 result
1. Stefano Paoletti (ITA) Team Italy 32 laps
2. Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia @2.28sec
3. Andrey Ovchinnikov (BLR) Team Belarus @3.45sec
4. Dmitry Vandyshev (BLR) Team Belarus @4.79sec
5. Alffian Bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia 1 lap behind
6. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar 1 lap behind
7. Marco Gambi (ITA) Team Italy 3 laps behind
2014 Qatar Nations Cup – sprint race 2 result
1. Stefano Paoletti (ITA) Team Italy 24 laps
2. Mohammed bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia @3.47sec
3. Roman Vandyshev (BLR) Team Belarus @46.56sec
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar @50.30sec
5. Alffian Bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia @51.22sec
6. Dmitry Vandyshev (BLR) Team Belarus RET
7. Marco Gambi (ITA) Team Italy 8 laps behind
2014 Qatar Nations Cup – final positions
1. Team Belarus 108 pts
2. Team Italy 107 pts
3. Team Malaysia 100 pts
4. Team Qatar 61 pts
5. Team Russia 36 pts
6. Team Lebanon 0 pts
10th Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events
Friday, March 14
09.00 – 09.20 Free practice
09.30 – 09.50 F-4S time trial
10.00 – 11.00 F1 Free practice
14.00 – 14.20 F-4S race day 1
15.30 – 16.30 F1 qualifying
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: email@example.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases). Twitter: @LordPerkins