F1 Guido Cappellini takes dramatic win in Grand Prix of Qatar
2005 FORMULA ONE UIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, UIM F1, November 19th, 2005 - round 4 of 6
For immediate release
Saturday, November 19th, 2005
ITALIAN GUIDO CAPPELLINI TAKES
VICTORY IN GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
Gillman leads and suffers cruel mechanical problems
Second place for Dessertenne; Selio takes third; Qatar's Al-Ali crashes out
DOHA (Qatar): Eight-times world champion Guido Cappellini of the Tamoil F1 Team won a thrilling Grand Prix of Qatar, the fourth round of the F1 UIM World Championship, in Doha Bay, today (Saturday).
But his arch American rival Scott Gillman had led for 36 of the 50 laps, 11 of which had taken place under two yellow flag situations, following a lap two accident involving Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali and a second crash where Norway's Rolf Magne Sunde was slightly injured. The American's retirement was his third while leading this season and wrecked his chances of retaining the world title.
Gillman had reported engine problems to his pit crew during the second yellow flag period and when the green flag was waved for the restart, it was Cappellini who sped through into the lead, followed by eventual French runner-up Philippe Dessertenne, third-placed Finn Sami Selio, Italy's Fabio Comparato in fourth, Australian David Trask in fifth and Italy's Massimo Roggiero in sixth.
Gillman had taken his 25th Pole Position and first of the season in Friday's Pole Position Shoot-Out, as the Los Angeles driver attempted to kick-start a season which had seen him take only 15 points from the previous three rounds. He had built up a 10-second lead at one point, only to see his winning aspirations evaporate on the 37th lap.
~Scott knew there was a problem with his engine,~ said a team spokesman. ~We had built up a good lead twice, but these engines are highly-tuned and they can fail if we run them slowly for several laps. That is racing sometimes, cruel luck.~
Cappellini, meanwhile, cruised ever closer to a ninth world title, which he is favourite to secure in the UAE in December. In an incident-filled race, Saudi Arabia's Laith Pharaon started from second position and maintained his place until the first yellow flag incident. He slipped sixth places to eighth and eventually withdrew on lap 16.
Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali had started today's race in 11th place on the grid in a boat hired from the Danita Racing Team. The Doha driver had been ninth quickest in second free practice on Saturday morning, posting a best time of 51.06s, but he was involved in a collision with the UAE's Tany Al-Qamzi on the second lap and was forced to retire.
Twenty-one boats began the day's race; Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe was unable to repair his damaged Ligier Charente Maritime hull and Dane Gert Ladefoged was also a non-starter.
Italians Francesco Cantando and Cappellini had been quickest in Saturday morning's free practice sessions, with the Singha F1 Racing Team driver posting a 48.58s lap, 0.48s quicker than the multiple world champion. He was the only racer under 49 seconds, with Selio in third, Pharaon in fifth and Gillman down in seventh.
Organised by the UIM in conjunction with the Qatar Marine Sports Federation for the first time, the Grand Prix of Qatar ran for 50 laps over a revised 2.1 kms course, with a pair of 650 metre straights featuring six turns, in the Al Bandar area of Doha Bay. Live television images were beamed around Europe and the Middle East.
~The QMSF is delighted that everything has gone smoothly and we are looking forward to hosting a regular race in the Formula One calendar,~ said Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~We have been working with Nicolo (di San Germano), the promoter, for several years and our hard work has paid off.~
The State of Qatar is provisionally down in the calendar to host the opening race of the 2006 F1 UIM series on April 14th. Meanwhile, Formula One teams will now enjoy a three-week break before the final two rounds of this year's championship in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah on December 9th and 16th.
2005 Grand Prix of Qatar - results:
1. Guido Cappellini (I) 1h 00m 50s
2. Phillipe Dessertenne (F) @ 2.14s
3. Sami Selio (FIN) @ 5.38s
4. Fabio Comparato (I) @ 7.19s
5. David Trask (AUS) @ 23.39s
6. Massimo Roggiero (I) 2 laps behind
Drivers' World Championship classification (unofficial):
1. Guido Cappellini (I) 60 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) 34.5 pts
3. Fabio Comparato (I) 30.5 pts
4. Phillipe Dessertenne (F) 30 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (I) 19 pts
6. Laith Pharaon (KSA) 17.5 pts
7. David Trask (AUS) 16.5 pts
8. Scott Gillman (USA) 15 pts, etc
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