F2K Qatar Team aims to bolster world title bid in Abu Dhabi Boat GP
UIM FORMULA 2000 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 6 - Abu Dhabi Boat GP - UAE, November 25-26th
For immediate release
Sunday, November 21st, 2004
QATAR TEAM AIMS TO BOLSTER
WORLD TITLE BID IN ABU DHABI BOAT GP
Qatar Team enters three boats in Middle East races;
Qatar's Jay Price plans major attack in rescheduled race
ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team will enter no less than three boats on the final two Middle East rounds of this year's UIM Formula 2000 World Championship, starting with the Abu Dhabi Boat GP this Friday (November 26th).
The event was rescheduled following the recent death of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates. Joining team leader Jay Price will be his usual partner Mohamad Saleh Al-Ali and newcomer Abdullah Sulaiti in a trio of two-litre DACs. Price finished fifth in the last round of the series in Russia back in September to maintain his overall challenge for the Boat GP world title, but he suffered a set-back in both the Match Race and Speed Record competitions.
The New Orleans-based racer heads for the calmer waters of the Abu Dhabi emirate with a slender eight-point overall lead in the Boat GP Championship over Italy's Ivan Brigada. Britain's Owen Jelf lies third on 141 points and still has a chance of stopping Price taking the coveted world title. Sweden's Jonas Andersson, the leader of the Formula 2000 competition, lies fourth in the overall Boat GP standings with his Molgaard.
Price holds third position in the Formula 2000 points' standings after his Russian disappointment, but his confident that he can win the final two races of the season in Abu Dhabi next weekend and Qatar at the start of December and go on to take a clean sweep of this year's titles. He lies second overall in the Match Race competition, a mere 11 points behind Britain's Owen Jelf in a Molgaard and 18 points clear of Brigada's DAC.
~It is an advantage for us to be racing in the Middle East for the closing two GPs,~ said Qatar Team Manager Mohamed Al-Jaidah. ~We have good spectator support here and access to spare parts and a longer period to set up the boats and practice with the race settings.
~We have introduced some improvements to the boats in recent weeks and will be trying some of these on Abdullah Sulaiti's boat for the Abu Dhabi race. Like the modifications we carried out on Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani's boat for Class One racing, if these changes work on Abdullah's DAC then we will introduce these on Mohamad and Jay's boats. The team is always looking ahead to try and improve its chances of winning.~
Al-Jaidah admits that Jay Price has a fantastic opportunity to take a clean sweep of the F2000 titles this season. ~We are pushing for this and giving him full support, both technically and verbally.~
Team mate Mohamad Saleh Al-Ali has endured a mixed season of racing, but knows full well that the Middle East races offer him an excellent opportunity to improve on his performances. ~Mohamad has started to practice very hard in recent weeks,~ added Al-Jaidah. ~He is aiming to take a place on the podium and give the Qatar Team some valuable championship points.~
But Price is mindful that he faces a serious challenge from the likes of Brigada, Jelf and Andersson. ~They have a very good chance and have been competitive all season,~ said Price. ~But I will settle for nothing less than first place this weekend.~
Competitive action gets underway in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, November 25th with the first timed practice sessions and the Match Race and Speed Record competitions. The Abu Dhabi Boat GP gets underway at 14.30 (local time) on Friday, November 26th.
The boats and equipment will then be sent via road to Doha on Saturday, November 27th and the series draws to a conclusion the following weekend with the final Boat GP in Qatar, organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), on December 3rd-4th.
UIM FORMULA 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS - AFTER ROUND 5 of 7:
1. Jonas Andersson (S) 64 pts
2. Ivan Brigada (I) 61 pts
3. Jay Price (QA) 49 pts
4. Owen Jelf (GB) 47 pts
5. Mark Rolls (GB) 26 pts
Match Race (unofficial)
1. Owen Jelf (GB) 70 pts
2. Jay Price (QA) 59 pts
3. Ivan Brigada (I) 41 pts
4. Mark Rolls (GB) 38 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) 31 pts
1. Jay Price (QA) 167 pts
2. Ivan Brigada (I) 159 pts
3. Owen Jelf (GB) 141 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (S) 114 pts
5. Mark Rolls (GB) 96 pts
6. Matteo Turati (I) 67 pts
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