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C1 Qatar Team arrives in Spain for Spanish Grand Prix

UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
Spanish Grand Prix, round 3 Ė Sunday, June 4th, 2006

For immediate release
Thursday, June 1st, 2006

QATAR TEAM ARRIVES IN SPAIN TO
PREPARE FOR SUNDAYíS GRAND PRIX

New Mercury engines set to power Qatar 96;
Qatar 95 aims for bonus points in Garrucha

GARRUCHA (Spain): The Qatar Team has arrived in Spain to make its final preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix, round three of this yearís UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, which takes place on Sunday afternoon off the coast of the quaint Almerian fishing town of Garrucha.

Over the next two days, members of the team - including His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini, and Qatar 95 team mates Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Italian Lino Di Biase will put together their final preparations for what promises to be one of the closest races in recent Class 1 seasons.

After a five-week lay-off since the Qatar Teamís historic one-two finish in the Middle East Grand Prix in Doha, officials at the QMSF in Doha have been enjoying the raised profile of the sport of Class 1 World Powerboat Championship racing in the Gulf. Intense racing and the roar of powerful tuned race engines have captured the publicís imagination, but Sheikh Hassan knows that it will not be easy to beat rivals Spirit of Norway and Victory 77 on European waters.

~I see Spirit and Victory as the main rivals, but we have a very good chance of winning again,~ insisted Sheikh Hassan. ~I donít know if Matteo has any tricks up his sleeve for us to try out on Friday, but I am sure we will look carefully at propeller settings for the race weekend and engine configurations. We have two new engines in Qatar 96, but Abdullah and Lino will use the Doha engines in Qatar 95 and will be eligible for the bonus points.

~I am looking forward to the weekend immensely. It is a left-hand course, so the corners will be different to Doha. It is not a problem, but we will need to find the fastest line. I suppose race tactics will all depend upon the weather conditions and how well we do in the Pole Position on Saturday afternoon. If we have strong winds and heavy seas then it could be very interesting.~

The Qatar Team arrives in Garrucha in fourth and ninth places in the UIM Class 1 Pole Position Championship after engine teething troubles during the first two race meetings in Doha. Spirit of Norway took back-to-back Pole wins in Doha and Sheikh Hassan knows that he needs to overcome a 20-point deficit in the coming races.

But the Qatar 96 crew are the outright leaders of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship and the Middle East Championship and Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini arrive in Garrucha determined to defend their slender two-point advantage over Spirit of Norway. Qatar 95 team mates Al-Sulaiti and Di Biase are a further four points behind, but it all bodes well for an exciting and potentially successful weekendís racing off the Spanish coast.

The first free practice sessions take place on Friday, with the Pole Position competition scheduled for Saturday afternoon and the actual Spanish Grand Prix set to run on Sunday afternoon.

UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
Positions after round 2:
1. Qatar 96 31 pts
2. Spirit of Norway 29 pts
3. Qatar 95 25 pts
4. Victory 7 18 pts
5. Victory 77 17 pts
6. Jotun 14 pts
7. King of Shaves 13 pts
8. Ceramiche Flaminia 12 pts
9. Foresti & Suardi 11 pts
10. Seveneleven 5 pts

(Championship points include bonus points allocated to teams for running
engines for two consecutive engines - one point, per engine, per race)

Pole Position Championship
Positions after round 2:
1. Spirit of Norway 40 pts
2. King of Shaves 24 pts
3. Victory 77 21 pts
4. Qatar 96 20 pts
5. Jotun 19 pts
6. Foresti & Suardi 12 pts
7. Victory 7 8 pts
8. Seveneleven 6 pts
9. Qatar 95 3 pts
10. Ceramiche Flaminia 2 pts

Ends

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

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



Date issued: 01/06/2006

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