F1 American Gillman wins Pole Positions in F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

UIM F1, November 19th, 2005 - round 4 of 6

For immediate release
Friday, November 18th, 2005


Saudi's Laith Pharaon in second; Cappellini thwarted with technical problems
Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali takes 11th place; UAE's Al-Qamzi in 12th

DOHA (Qatar): American Scott Gillman of the Emirates Team won the six-boat Pole Position Shoot-Out competition at the Marine Bay Grand Prix of Qatar, round four of this year's Formula One UIM World Championship, and will start Saturday's main F1 GP race at the front of the leading group.

At the helm of his Mercury-engined DAC, the American collected 20 Pole championship points for his troubles. Saudi Arabian Laith Pharaon benefited from calm water conditions to post a time to beat of 48.16s on his first lap and it proved too much for Francesco Cantando, Philippe Dessertenne and Sami Selio, the Finn on the ragged edge to post a fastest time of 48.72s. But on-form Gillman pipped the Saudi on his opening lap and when multiple world champion Guido Cappellini succumbed to mechanical problems on his first lap, Gillman's Pole win was secured.

To determine the six-boat line-up for the Pole Shoot-Out, the average fastest time for the two timed heats was taken and Italy's Francesco Cantando qualified in fifth place, courtesy of a time of 49.97s in the second time trial. He was joined in the line-up for the final Pole Shoot-Out by front runner Cappellini, Selio, Gillman (49.27s), fourth-placed Dessertenne and sixth-placed Pharaon. Australian David Trask crashed his XPV Racing DAC out of the running.

Singapore GP race winner Sami Selio set the fastest time of 50.87s in the opening 44 minutes of the first timed trial, but was edged out by Cappellini in the dying seconds on a flying last lap of 49.79s - a stunning 1.08s ahead of the Finn at an average speed of 151 km/h. Gillman was third with 50.94s and Frenchman Philippe Dessertenne took fourth in 51.33s. Fellow countryman Philippe Chiappe's Ligier Charente Maritime entry was towed into the pits with structural damage and Dane Gert Ladefoged was sidelined with boat skin damage.

Twelve F1 teams and 23 drivers from 13 countries took part in today's two time trials. Heavy rain, lightning and strong winds had shifted across Doha during the night, signalling the arrival of winter, but the wind abated in time for the first time trials and Cappellini, Gillman and their rivals took to the water under blue skies and dry conditions in Marina Bay for the first competition on Friday afternoon.

Qatar's 39-year-old Mohammed Al-Ali finished 14th overall in his first race of the season in Singapore and again teamed up with Italy's Fabrizio Bocco in the Rainbow Team, running a pair of Mercury-engined DACs.

But the Doha-based racer damaged the number eight boat in the morning's free practice on the way to the 19th fastest lap time of 1m 00.42s and was forced to run rent a boat from the Danita Racing Team for the time trials. Al-Ali set a fastest time of 53.51s in the first timed practice to hold 11th position, but was also yellow-carded for speeding in the pit lane. He ended the time trials in 11th place, just ahead of the UAE's 12th-placed Tany Al-Qamzy from the Emirates Team.

~Mohammed's boat sustained some skin damage and it was not possible to use his usual Rainbow boat for the time trials,~ said QMSF spokesman Mohammed Al-Jaidah. ~We were fortunate to be able to rent a boat straight away from another team.~

The fastest free practice lap of 52.42s was taken by Saudi Arabia's Laith Pharaon in his Team Green DAC at an average speed of 144 km/h. His closest rivals were Italy's Francesco Cantando and Dane Gert Ladefoged, with Gillman in fourth and Cappellini down in 12th.

~We have been working on hosting a Formula One race since 1999,~ said a spectating Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~It has finally come to fruition and it is a great feeling to see everyone racing in Doha. The organisers have their own logistics team and their own TV crew, so our workload is reduced. We just have to supply the venue and make sure they have everything they need.~

Tomorrow (Saturday) drivers will be permitted a practice session in the morning, before the official F1 Powerboat parade lap. The inaugural Marina Bay Grand Prix of Qatar will take place on an eight-pin, 2.125 kms course, featuring a pair of 600 metre straights, from 14.30 hrs on Saturday afternoon. This will be followed by the prizegiving ceremony.

2005 Marina Bay Grand Prix of Qatar
Pole Position Shoot-Out results:
1. Scott Gillman (USA) 47.78s
2. Laith Pharaon (KSA) 48.16s
3. Phillipe Dessertenne (F) 48.71s
4. Sami Selio (FIN) 48.72s
5. Francesco Cantando (I) 49.90s
6. Guido Cappellini (I) DNS

Pole Position Championship (unofficial):
1. Guido Cappellini (I) 80 pts
2. Scott Gillman (USA) 57 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) 29 pts
4. Phillipe Dessertenne (F) 26 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (I) 24 pts
6. Laith Pharaon (KSA) 23 pts


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

and Philippe Stiernon, F1 UIM World Championship Press Officer, E-mail: philippe@f1boat.com


Date issued: 18/11/2005

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