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F1 Qatar Team member Mohammed Al Ali takes eighth place in GP of Sharjah

2005 FORMULA ONE UIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
6th GRAND PRIX OF SHARJAH UIM F1, December 16th, 2005 - round 6 of 6

For immediate release
Friday, December 16th, 2005

QATAR'S AL-ALI FINISHES EIGHTH
IN GRAND PRIX OF SHARJAH

GP of Sharjah win for Italy's Guido Cappellini;
American Gillman takes Pole Position title in Sharjah

SHARJAH (UAE): Qatar's Mohammed Al-Ali finished eighth overall in the 6th Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 2005 F1 UIM World Championship, which was held at Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah on Friday afternoon.

The race was won by the Italian nine-times UIM F1 World Champion Guido Cappellini, while American Scott Gillman - twice a former winner in Sharjah - clinched the Pole Position Championship for the Emirates Team on Thursday afternoon. Gillman led for part of today's race before slipping back with technical problems. Finland's Sami Selio finished his F1 season with a fine second position.

Taking part in only his fourth Formula One race since making the switch from Formula 2000 racing, Doha-based Al-Ali began today's race in front of a massive crowd from 14th position on the grid. Twenty-one drivers from 12 countries tackled the Grand Prix around a six-turn, 2.235 km course in downtown Sharjah.

~We used the Pole Position race to carry out a test of some new propellers, so that Mohammed would be fully-prepared for the race,~ said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, Team Manager at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~Mohammed passed several boats today and had a good run through the field to take eighth place.~

~I enjoyed the race today, but we were only using a stock engine and I could not quite match the top speed of some of the front-running boats,~ said Mohammed Al-Ali. ~We were quick in the turns, but I lost out on the straights. Still, it was a good race for me and I can look forward to next season with fresh confidence. We have finished the season - my first in Formula One - with two good points-scoring performances.~

After Thursday's Pole Position competition, new Pole Champion Gillman had to wait one and a half hours to find out if he was going to be awarded pole position or whether that would be handed to his Italian rival Guido Cappellini. The tense situation arose when Cappellini missed a buoy and circled around the course backwards which is not permitted in the UIM rules.

A lap later Cappellini posted a 49.33s lap, which was better than Gillman's 49.52s and the Tamoil Oil Team driver thought he had earned his 60th career pole for the 6th annual Grand Prix of Sharjah. He was later disqualified by UIM officials, with Finland's Sami Selio and Italy's Massimo Roggiero eventually taking second and third places.

Ends

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Date issued: 16/12/2005

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