C1 Qatar Grand Prix village and pit area take shape on Doha Bay
2005 UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWER BOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
QATAR GRAND PRIX, November 5th/7th, 2005 - round 4 of 7
For immediate release
Thursday, November 3rd, 2005
QATAR GRAND PRIX VILLAGE AND PIT
AREA TAKE SHAPE ON DOHA BAY
Qatar's Sami Abu Shaikha relishes logistical challenge of Qatar GP
DOHA (Qatar): There was a buzz of excitement and expectancy on the Corniche in Doha at the start of the Eid holiday on Thursday, as technicians and team engineers put the finishing touches to the 10 boats which will take to the waters of Doha Bay for Monday's Qatar Grand Prix, round four of this year's UIM Class One World Power Boat Championship.
Official practice will take place between noon and 14.00 hrs on Saturday
afternoon, but both the Victory Team's test boat and the Qatar 95 crew of Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Lino di Biase planned to use spare time on Thursday afternoon and Friday to carry out a shakedown with their all-new Mercury race engines.
While engine technicians make the final tweaks to the Lamborghini and
Mercury powerplants, which will be used by the likes of Spirit of Norway, the Qatar Team and both Dubai-based Victory boats in Monday afternoon's race, staff at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation in Doha have been finalising the set-up of the paddock, pits, pontoons and hospitality areas on Doha Bay.
~I am very pleased with the way the whole operation has progressed this
year,~ said Sami Abu Shaikha, General Secretary of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, who is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the event from the Qatar side. ~We learned from running the event in 2004 and have implemented several innovations.
~We managed to get everything ready early this time and that was important. All the teams, media and officials have safely arrived in Doha. Hotels, transportation and hospitality were all arranged as planned and we have organised a spectacular laser show and an official team dinner for Sunday evening.~
Abu Shaikha admits that the timing of the first Grand Prix on Monday, after the Holy Month of Ramadan and during the Eid holiday, could have produced logistical delays. ~It could have been a problem, but we were fully prepared. We knew what was needed and when it was needed and that was the important factor. We will all be working throughout the Eid holiday.~
UK-based Nigel Quilter, the official press officer of the UIM Class One
World Power Boat Championship, was complimentary about this year's efforts by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~What we have seen from the media side so far this year has been excellent. The facilities for the press are just what we needed. The organisers have housed us in an air conditioned area close to the pits and all the necessary internet and wiring facilities are operational and in place.~
Putting on two Class One Grand Prixs and a Formula One race in the space of 14 days could have stretched resources at the Qatar Marine Sports
Federation to the limit, but Abu Shaikha has used the close proximity of
the three races to the QMSF's advantage.
~We were under pressure, not from the logistics of running the three races, but from the sheer demand for hotel rooms in Qatar in mid-November. It's one of the busiest times in the region, but the groundwork has been put in place for the Class One races and the Formula One will be straightforward after this.
~We have around 250 volunteer helpers on race weekend and they will work with our staff and the local police on many aspects of race safety and organisation. When we add in the journalists, the television crews and the catering staff, I suppose there will be nearly 1000 people involved in the running of the race.~
Abu Shaikha's team spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday clearing the port
area of local dhows and Gulf-bound vessels and supplied water
transportation to UIM race officials to enable them to set up the race
Most of the team will take a well-earned Eid holiday over the next 24 hours and then it will be all systems go on Saturday for administration, registration, technical scrutineering and the official practice,~ added Abu Shaikha.
That opening Qatar Grand Prix gets underway with free practice on Saturday, with the race taking place at 14.30 hrs on Monday afternoon in Doha Bay.
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