SBI Spirit of Qatar Team begins American racing programme at Cocoa Beach
SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2014
5th Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix, Cocoa Beach, Florida - May 16-18, 2014
For immediate release
Monday, May 12th, 2014
SPIRIT OF QATAR TEAM BEGINS AMERICAN RACING
PROGRAMME WITH TWO-BOAT TEAM IN COCOA BEACH
· Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis debut on hold
· Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and Billy Moore set for Superboat class battle
· Rally star Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah joins team for Florida opener
COCOA BEACH (Florida): The Spirit of Qatar Team, which runs under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), gets its 2014 challenge for power boating honours underway in the United States of America this weekend.
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and British throttleman Steve Curtis will not race themselves, although there will be a two-boat Spirit of Qatar team present at the second round of Superboat International (SBI) at Cocoa Beach in Florida on May 16-18.
The QMSF will be represented by Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore and well known Qatari rally driver and Olympic skeet shooter Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah with his Italian racing partner Matteo Nicolini.
“We are planning to do four or five races this season including the finale to the year in Key West,” said Sheikh Hassan. “Steve and I will be running turbines in Al Adaa’am 96, but it seems we will not be ready for Cocoa Beach. We will continue to run the three Spirit of Qatar Team boats later in the season. Nasser has got the new 1650 engines in his boat now (Spirit of Qatar 613) and should be very fast this year.
“Ali and Billy will race in Spirit of Qatar 20 and they have an upgraded boat and should also be very competitive in the Superboat category. The plan is to run in the same three classes as last year. The guys have already tested the 613 and 20 boats during the close season and all reports were very positive. It’s now time to carry out the real test, which is racing! The target is victory in all three classes and, of course, Marc Granet (Miss Geico) is the most wanted of them all…”
Sheikh Hassan also confirmed the QMSF’s new luxury Cigarette VIP boat that was displayed at the Miami boat show is now ready and will appear as the team’s support vessel in Cocoa Beach.
Globetrotting rally driver Al-Attiyah will join up with the Spirit of Qatar Team straight after competing in the WRC Rally of Argentina, which finished at Vila Carlos Paz, near Cordoba, on Sunday. The Qatari won a cross-country rally in his home country three weeks ago, beat a quality field to win the Jordan Rally two weeks ago and then headed off to Argentina.
In the absence of the Spirit of Qatar Team, 30 boats lined up in the various classes at round one in Charlotte Harbour last month. Tor Staubo and John Tomlinson, in their 48-foot MTI Gasse, won the Superboat Unlimited opener once leader CMS ran out of fuel. A high-speed drive shaft failure sidelined Marc Granet in Miss Geico on lap one, but he collected 420 points for his efforts.
Team Stihl’s new pairing of J. R. Noble and throttleman Mark Kowalski drew first blood in the race for the Superboat title, with Broadco, WHM Motorsports and Cleveland Construction rounding off the top four in the absence of Al-Neama and Moore.
Sheikh Hassan is aware that adverse weather conditions and strong winds are often prevalent at Cocoa Beach. He was not able to compete in 2013 either, but Ali Al-Neama and throttleman Mohammed Al-Nasser represented the Spirit of Qatar Team and finished a solid fifth overall in the Superboat class, where victory fell to William Mauff and Jay Muller in WHM Motorsports.
The weekend’s timetable gets underway with registration and inspections on Friday, May 16th. VIP and media formalities will continue on Saturday and testing will be permitted in the afternoon.
The first race for the smaller class boats starts at noon (19.00hrs Qatar time) on Sunday, May 18th and the Spirit of Qatar boats take to the water for the second race from 2pm (21.00hrs Qatar time).
Super Boat International – positions after Charlotte Harbour (race 1):
1. Gasse 8 558 pts
2. CMS 3 507 pts
3. Lucas Oil Silverbrook 77 461 pts
4. Miss Geico 113 420 pts
1. Instigator 22 555 pts
1. Stihl US-1 559 pts
2. Broadco 05 508 pts
3. WHM Motorsports 5 462 pts
4. Cleveland Construction 4 421 pts
5. Automation Racing for Cancer 33 384 pts
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail:
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).