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F2K Mixed fortunes for Qatar Team in Boat GP of the Emirates

UIM FORMULA 2000 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 6 - Boat GP of the Emirates - UAE, November 25-26th

For immediate release
Friday, November 26th, 2004

QATAR TEAM ENDURES MIXED
FORTUNES IN ABU DHABI F2000

Fourth place for Qatar's Price in Speed Record;
Speed victory for Frenchman Corsin;
Engine problems thwart Price in Match Race;
Britain's Jelf takes Match Race title

ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar Team enjoyed a weekend of mixed fortunes at the rescheduled Boat GP of the Emirates, the first event of its kind to be held in the Abu Dhabi emirate. Two Qatar boats were entered in the penultimate round of the UIM Formula 2000 World Championship and team leader Jay Price followed up Thursday's fourth position in the Speed Record with eighth overall in the 22-strong Boat GP today (Friday).

Price should have begun Friday's Boat GP in 10th place on the grid, but he was forced to change the engine overnight and had to settle for a position at the back of the field for the race. Pole Position was held by the 25-year-old Brigada with a time of 48.97 seconds, set in the second time trial on Thursday. Britain's Owen Jelf was second and third position was taken by the UAE's Thani Al-Qamzi (50.04 seconds).

As Brigada fended off the challenge from Jelf and Jonas Andersson at the front of the field, despite allegedly missing a marker which led to a protest after the race, Price battled his way through the backmarkers to eventually take a creditable ninth position to add to his overall points tally. But the result means that he cannot now win the Formula 2000 category. This will be decided between Brigada, Andersson and Jelf in Qatar next month. Price's team mate Mohammed Saleh Al-Ali was forced out of the Boat GP race.

But the weekend's achievements could have been that much more rewarding for the New Orleans-based racer, who was chasing a clean sweep of this year's UIM world titles for the Doha-based Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). Price trailed Frenchman Bruno Corsin, runner-up Tullio Abbate and Italy's Ivan Brigada in fourth position for the Speed Record competition and will now take a slender advantage over Brigada in this category to the final round in Qatar.

A critical engine problem prevented Price adding to his points' tally in the Match Race. The Qatar Team driver had begun the weekend's action a mere 11 points behind Britain's Owen Jelf, but Jelf extended that lead to an unassailable margin by taking victory in the Abu Dhabi Match Race competition, held near the Breakwater on Thursday. Corsin lost the final race to the Briton and took second place, while Thani Al-Qamzi was third for the Emirates Team, beating Britain's Colin Jelf in the third-place shoot-out.

The overall Boat GP title, calculated from the Speed, Match and Formula 2000 racing disciplines, will be decided between Brigada, Jelf and Price in the Boat GP of Qatar. Price's Qatar team mate Mohamad Saleh Al-Ali finished 18th overall in the Match Race in his DAC, although work commitments prevented Abdullah Sulaiti from taking part as a third team member. He plans to tackle the final round of the series in Qatar.

~Jay suffered an engine problem after the Speed Record and was not able to take part in the Match Race,~ said Sami Abu Sheikha, General Secretary of the QMSF. ~But the team fitted a new engine to his boat and he began the Boat GP with a new engine.

~It was always an uphill battle after the engine problem, but Jay gave a great account of himself in the race from the back of the field,~ added Qatar Team Manager Mohammed Al-Jaidah.

Boats and equipment will now be sent via road to Doha at the start of next week and the series will reach a conclusion with the Boat GP of Qatar, organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), on December 3rd-4th.

UIM FORMULA 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS - AFTER ROUND 6 of 7:

Formula 2000 (unofficial)
1. Ivan Brigada (I) 81 pts*
2. Jonas Andersson (S) 76 pts*
3. Owen Jelf (GB) 62 pts*
4. Jay Price (QA) 51 pts*
*subject to protest after Boat GP

Boat GP (unofficial)
1. Ivan Brigada (I) 196 pts*
2. Owen Jelf (GB) 179 pts*
3. Jay Price (QA) 178 pts*
4. Jonas Andersson (S) 135 pts*
*subject to protest after Boat GP

Match Race (unofficial)
1. Owen Jelf (GB) 90 pts
2. Jay Price (QA) 59 pts
3. Ivan Brigada (I) 46 pts
4. Mark Rolls (GB) 40 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) 38 pts
6. Colin Jelf (GB) 30 pts

Speed Record (unofficial)
1. Jay Price (QA) 68 pts
2. Ivan Brigada (I) 62 pts
3. Matteo Turati (I) 39 pts
3. Bruno Corsin (F) 39 pts
5. Uvis Slakteris (LV) 33 pts
6. Mark Rolls (GB) 32 pts

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, (Tel: Dubai mobile + (971 50) 3616881, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153 and E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com) www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)

www.formula2000boat.com
www.qmsf.org

Date issued: 26/11/2004

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