SBI Spirit of Qatar 20's Al-Neama and Moore crash out of Superboat race lead in Clearwater
SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2014
6th Annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship, Clearwater, Florida - September 26-28, 2014
For immediate release
Monday, September 29th, 2014
SPIRIT OF QATAR 20’S ALI AL-NEAMA AND BILLY MOORE
CRASH OUT OF SUPERBOAT RACE LEAD IN CLEARWATER
· Technical issues force Sheikh Hassan to miss Unlimited race
· Team Stihl secures Superboat National High Points Championship
CLEARWATER (Florida): Qatari Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore made a sensational start to the Superboat race at the 6th Annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship in Florida on Sunday.
The Spirit of Qatar 20 crew held off series leader Team Stihl through the opening lap and were holding the inside line and the advantage at the start of the second lap when the boat dug in, somersaulted and spelt the end of a superb challenge for honours for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed duo. The Superboat race win and the championship title fell to Robert Nobel and Mark Kowalski in Team Stihl, who maintained their lead to the finish of the 19-lap race.
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and British throttleman Steve Curtis had planned to run Spirit of Qatar 613 in the Superboat Unlimited class and renew their rivalry with Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico. But technical problems plagued the team after testing and 613 was not able to take the start.
“We had an electrical sensor problem that we could not resolve on Saturday,” confirmed a senior Spirit of Qatar team technician. “So we changed it on Saturday night, but the engine we put in cracked an exhaust manifold in the test on Sunday morning, which allowed water into the engine. We changed it and found that the engine had locked up.”
Three races were on the agenda for this year’s Clearwater weekend. Superboat Unlimited and Superboat Extreme entrants slotted into race two after the opening race for the P3, P4 and Superboat Vee classes and there was a third stand-alone race for Superboats.
The Spirit of Qatar Team made a change to the planned line-up and Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis lined up in Spirit of Qatar 613 to renew their rivalry with Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico in the Superboat Unlimited class. Extreme and Superboat Stock boats completed the line-up.
The Unlimited boats were due to run 19 laps and a total of 76 miles, but Spirit of Qatar 613 was not able to make the start after earlier technical problems and Granet and Begovich were left to take the lead without the Qatar challenge. Lucas Oil Silverhook, Twisted Metal and Instigator offered token competition in the Unlimited and Extreme classes.
But there was no stopping Miss Geico and Granet and Begovich cruised to the chequered flag unchallenged to seal the win.
Al-Neama and Moore lined up in the Superboat race at the helm of Spirit of Qatar 20 alongside Broadco, Team Stihl, Warpaint, Cleveland Construction and Autonation Racing for Cancer. WHM Motorsports suffered engine damage in testing and was not able to make the race.
Nineteen laps lay ahead on the four-mile course and Al-Neama and Moore made a superb start to lead through the opening turn from Team Stihl and Autonation Racing for Cancer. The leading two boats edged away from the chasing quartet and Al-Neama and Moore held the inside line into the right turn at the end of lap one, only for the boat to flip sideways into a barrel roll and land right-side-up on the inside of the corner. The incident opened the door for Robert Nobel and Mark Kowalski to move comfortably clear in Team Stihl.
Team Stihl was never troubled from then on and reached the chequered flag well clear of a charging Broadco’s Chuck Broaddus and Grant Bruggemann and the third-placed Autonation Racing for Cancer crew of Jeff Bentley and Randy Sweers.
The next outing for the Spirit of Qatar Team in the United States will be the all-important Key West World Championships in Florida at the start of November.
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail:
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).