F1 Al Ali heads to Sharjah keen to build upon Abu Dhabi result
2005 FORMULA ONE UIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
GRAND PRIX OF SHARJAH UIM F1, December 16th, 2005 - round 6 of 6
For immediate release
Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
QATAR'S AL-ALI HEADS TO SHARJAH KEEN
TO BUILD UPON GP OF ABU DHABI RESULT
Cappellini and Gillman set for final showdown of the season;
Qatari racer fronts the Rainbow Team for GP of Sharjah
SHARJAH (UAE): Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali is relishing the opportunity of building upon the excellent ninth place he took in last weekend's Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, when he takes part in this weekend's Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 2005 F1 UIM World Championship.
The former Formula 2000 racer made the switch to Formula One racing mid-way through this season and last Friday's race in Abu Dhabi marked the Qatari's first points' finish in F1 racing after retirements in Singapore and his home event in Qatar in November.
This weekend Al-Ali again teams up with Fabrizio Bocca in the two-boat Rainbow Team, after being forced to hire a boat from the Danita Team for the Grand Prix of Qatar following an accident prior to the race.
~Mohammed is making great progress very quickly,~ said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, Team Manager and senior member of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~He had a couple of disappointments in Singapore and Qatar, but Abu Dhabi was a major boost for his confidence.
~We had a problem with an engine during the Match Race and Pole qualifying competiton last Thursday and he was forced to start the main race from 18th place and eventually finished ninth. That was a great result for him and I am sure he can finish even higher in Sharjah on Friday afternoon.~
The Grand Prix of Sharjah is the finale to what has been a thrilling Formula One racing season and will again see American Scott Gillman from the Emirates Team go head-to-head with the nine-times F1 World Champion Guido Cappellini from the Tamoil F1 Team. Gillman won last weekend's race in Abu Dhabi after several cruel retirements while leading, but Cappellini's consistency over the course of the year saw him clinch the F1 title for a record-breaking ninth time.
California-based Gillman will be out to prove that he is still the fastest racer on the F1 circuit when they meet again for Thursday's Pole Position Competition and Friday's Grand Prix. But both men realise that a first class field will offer fierce competition. While Cappellini's points tally of 72 is now uncatchable, four of the leading drivers will be aiming to finish the season as runner-up.
Second-placed Frenchman Pierre Dessertenne has 39 points and currently holds a slender four-point advantage over Gillman in the overall standings, with Finland's Sami Selio and Saudi Arabia's Laith Pharaon handily-placed to make a charge in Sharjah.
Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali has only tackled three of the five races this season and lies 17th out of 28 registered drivers in the points' standings, courtesy of the two points he picked up in Abu Dhabi. Emirates Team racer Tany Al-Qamzi lies 14th in the second Dubai Holdings-backed boat.
While Al-Ali will be hoping to set a lap time sufficient to put him into the shoot-out for the first time on Thursday afternoon, all eyes will focus on the battle between Gillman and Cappellini for the outright Pole Position title. Gillman heads to Sharjah with 85 points to the Italian's 80, with Saudi's Pharaon a distant third on 42 points.
Pole Position Championship - positions after round 5 of 6:
1. Scott Gillman (USA) 85 pts
2. Guido Cappellini (I) 80 pts
3. Laith Pharaon (KSA) 42 pts, etc
F1 UIM World Championship - positions after round 5 of 6
1. Guido Cappellini (I) 72 pts
2. Pierre Dessertenne (F) 39 pts
3. Scott Gillman (USA) 35 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) 34.5 pts
5. Laith Pharaon (KSA) 32.5 pts
17. Mohammed Al-Ali (QA) 2 pts, etc
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