C1 Qatar Team bids to extend Class 1 lead in second Norwegian race

SCANDINAVIAN GRAND PRIX, August 14th, 2005 - round 3 of 7

For immediate release
Tuesday, August 9th, 2005


Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani bids for third successive Norwegian win;
Qatar 95 crew hoping for better fortune in round three of Class 1 series

TRONDHEIM (Norway): Qatar's His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani and Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini head into this Sunday's Scandinavian Grand Prix with an 11-point lead in the 2005 UIM Class 1 World Power Boat Championship.

The Qatar 96 pairing followed up a second place in July's British Grand Prix with a second successive win in Norway last Sunday to edge ahead of the second-placed Victory 77 crew of Mohammed Al-Marri and Jean-Marc Sanchez in the points' standings.

Outright victory on the Norwegian fjord this weekend would give the Qatar Team a fantastic early advantage in the seven-round series. The Qatar 96 crew benefitted from a new UIM regulation during the first Norwegian race, whereby an additional 1.5 bonus points per engine are awarded to entrants who complete two races with the same engines. The Michael Peters-designed Qatar 96 hull is powered by a pair of powerful L804V4 Lamborghini units.

~We have to put last weekend's success to the back of our minds and concentrate on this weekend's race,~ said Sheikh Hassan. ~We will not change the set-up for the second race, just the engines. It is not allowed to carry out any practice or testing outside the permitted timing slots on Friday and Saturday, so we will rest for a couple of days this week and mentally prepare for the race on Sunday.~

While Al-Thani and Nicolini plan how to defend their outright championship lead and make up the 10-point deficit by which they trail the Spirit of Norway boat in the Pole Position Championship, team mates Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Lino di Biase will be working with the Nicolini Offshore mechanics to refettle the damaged Qatar 95 boat. The pair crashed out of last Sunday's race on what turned out to be an unlucky 13th lap. ~It was disappointing for Abdullah and Lino, but they should be okay for the weekend,~ added Sheikh Hassan.

~We made quite a good start and were slowly making up ground and lying in fifth place,~ said Al-Sulaiti, who slipped to sixth place in the championship. ~Unfortunately at the second corner we caught a wave from one of the boats in front of us. We just kept sliding as we turned and then rolled. We were okay, but there was a little damage to the boat.~

The Qatar Team is remaining in Norway this week between the two Trondheim-based races. ~I will go back to Doha on August 15th or 16th,~ said Hassan, who manages to fit a hectic Class 1 racing schedule into his life alongside family and IOTA management responsiblities, his role as President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and a full-time government management role in Doha.

~I don't know how I get all these things done, but I work with a professional team that assists me during events,~ said Hassan. ~We have an administration team at the QMSF and this allows me to have time with my family. ~Sometimes it is not easy, but the great team of people I work with makes it that must easier.~

This weekend the two-boat Qatar Team faces fierce competition from the Spirit of Norway pairing of Bard Eker and Steve Curtis, Dubai's Victory 7 and Victory 77 and the Maritimo, Negotiator, Roscioli Hotels, Jotun and GFN Gibellato entries.

Shakedown and practice for the second Norwegian race will take place on Friday, August 12th, with the Pole Position Championship race getting underway on Saturday afternoon. The Scandinavian Grand Prix brings the weekend to a thrilling finale on Sunday.

Championship Positions after race 2:
1. Qatar 96 - Al Thani/Nicolini 38pts
2. Victory 77 - Al Marri/Sanchez 27pts
3. Negotiator - Parsonage/Scism 24pts
4. Spirit of Norway - Eker/Curtis 23pts
5. Maritimo - Barry-Cotter/McGrath 12pts
6. GFN Gibellato - Montavoci/Cirilli 8.5 pts
6. Qatar 95 - Al Sulaiti/Di Biase 7pts
8. Victory 7 - Hindi/Al Marri 3pts
8. Roscioli Hotels - Giorgi/Polli 3 pts
8. Jotun - Tandberg/Zaborowski 3 pts

Pole Position Championship after race 2:
1. Spirit of Norway - Eker/Curtis 40pts
2. Qatar 96 Al Thani/Nicolini 30pts
3. Negotiator - Parsonage/Scism 21pts
4. Victory 77 - Al Marri/Sanchez 12pts
4. Qatar 95 Al Sulaiti/Di Biase 12pts
4. Maritimo Barry-Cotter/McGrath 12pts
7. Victory 7 - Bin Hindi/R Al Marri 9pts
8. GFN Gibellato - Montavoci/Cirilli 8pts
9. Roscioli Hotels - Giorgi/Polli 3pts
10. Jotun - Tandberg/Zaborowski*
*points to de determined


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


Date issued: 09/08/2005

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