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C1 QMSF appoints new reserve driver for new Class 1 season

2006 UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
Qatar Grand Prix, round 1 – Saturday, April 29th

For immediate release
Friday, April 21st, 2006

QATAR MARINE SPORTS FEDERATION PREPARES
FOR EXCITING CLASS ONE RACING SEASON

Qatar Team appoints new reserve driver for 2006 season;
QMSF officials relishing the challenge of opening two races

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Team is gearing up for the rescheduled opening two races of the 2006 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship in Doha on Saturday, April 29th and Thursday, May 4th.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani has been dividing his time between Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) responsibilities, a full-time business career and his key role as the driver of Qatar 96, a Michael Peters-designed hull, which he will share with Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini on all 10 rounds of this year’s championship.

As planned at the start of the year, the Qatar Team will also field a second Mercury-engined boat for Qatar’s Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Italian team mate Lino di Biase. But the QMSF have also appointed a new local reserve driver to work with Qatar’s Class 1 team this season. Mohammed Al-Nasser will be part of the Qatar Team for the first time in 2006.

~I have been looking for a time at people to come up through the ranks and graduate to the Class 1 team here in Doha,~ said Sheikh Hassan, the President of the QMSF. ~Mohammed Al-Nasser has impressed me with his professional attitude and commitment in pleasure boat racing and he seems to have the right personality to become an important part of our team in Class 1.~

While QMSF officials liaise with international teams, officials and media and work to ensure a rapid transfer of the boats, hospitality tents and equipment to the pit area on Doha Bay, Sheikh Hassan and his racing team have been working on a strategy that they hope will see them emerge ahead of arch rivals Spirit of Norway and the Victory Team this year.

~The championship has been expanded with new races in France, Greece and Slovenia, so we will have to develop consistency during the course of the year to be successful,~ added Hassan. ~We are working on a plan where we are implementing a practice strategy, detailed engine preparation and devoting some time to transmission testing.

~We have decided against making any major changes this year, as we believe that we have an excellent package to start the season with. If necessary we can always work on changes as the year progresses. The appeal against last year’s decision was not to buy time before the start of the year. We are ready and looking forward to the start of the first race in Doha.~

While Sheikh Hassan admits that Spirit of Norway and the two Victory boats could well be the team’s closest rivals, he stresses that Jotun have been working hard and are an improving team with their new V8 engines. ~I also think that the number 50 race boat (King of Shaves) will be on a good pace from the start,~ he added.

With teams, officials and members of the media expected to arrive in Doha at the start of this coming week, all attention in Class 1 racing circles will descend upon Doha Bay. The venue staged a dramatic UIM Formula One World Championship race last weekend, where Italy’s Ivan Brigada snatched victory, but Sheikh Hassan and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti will be hoping that a home advantage carries them through to victory over the course of the next couple of weeks.

Ends

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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)

www.class-1.com
www.qmsf.org



Date issued: 21/04/2006

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