F1 Qatar Team set to start Grand Prix of Italy in fourth and eighth places
UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Italy, round 3
July 15-16th, 2006
For immediate release
Saturday, July 15th, 2006
QATAR TEAM TAKES 4th AND 8th PLACES
IN QUALIFYING FOR GRAND PRIX OF ITALY
Cappellini, Al-Qamzi and Gillman lead the way for Sunday’s GP;
Qatar Team confident of podium finish on Lake Como
LAKE COMO (Italy): The Qatar F1 Team will start Sunday’s 10th Grand Prix of Italy, round three of this year’s UIM F1 World Championship, in fourth and eighth places in the line-up, after Italian Massimo Roggiero and American team mate Jay Price claimed fourth and eighth for the Doha-based team in Saturday’s qualifying and Shoot-out competition.
With the backdrop of the scenic Lake Como, situated 45 km north of Milan and marking the gateway to the Southern Alps, 28 boats and drivers from 14 countries lined up at the start of the qualifying session. Roggiero and Price were entered by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) in a pair of Mercury-engined 2.5-litre BaBa boats
“This was a solid start for our team and gives us an excellent chance of winning the race on Sunday,” said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, QMSF Team Director and Head of Formula Racing. “We know that Guido Cappellini, Scott Gillman and Thani Al-Qamzi will be the men to beat, but we are confident that our set-up will be competitive for the race. Weather conditions are perfect, so I am relishing the actual race on Sunday.”
Today’s timetable consisted of the first time trials from 13.00 hrs (Qatar time), the second heats from 15.30 hrs and the shoot out for the fastest six drivers from 18.00 hrs.
Roggiero set the fifth fastest time in the first qualifying session with a time of 51.12s, behind leader Cappellini (49.34s), Finland’s Sami Selio, Gillman and Al-Qamzi. Price was eighth quickest in a time of 52.08s.
The second qualifying session took place later on Saturday afternoon and Gillman beat rival Cappellini, with Roggiero in fourth with a time of 51.33s and Price in ninth with a best lap of 52.23s. The final shoot-out competition saw Cappellini take the maximum points in the Pole Position Competition with a best lap of 47.40s, followed by Al-Qamzi and Gillman. Roggiero was encouraged with the fourth fastest time of 51.68s. Price will start the race from eighth place.
In the morning’s free practice, Roggiero set the third fastest lap time of 51.05s behind Cappellini and the UAE’s Thani Al-Qamzi, after completing 16 laps. Team mate Price set the 14th fastest time of 54.09s during his nine-lap stint.
The Qatar Team arrived at Lake Como without an overall championship point to show for its efforts on the opening two races in Qatar and Portugal. Following team driver Mohammed Al-Ali’s crash in Doha, Price was recruited to partner Roggiero and the pair headed into Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session confident that they could match the front-running American Scott Gillman and his main Italian rivals Ivan Brigada and last year’s Grand Prix of Italy winner Guido Cappellini.
Roggiero proved in Portugal that he had the pace to match the front-runners and had qualified in second place for the Algarve race before being sidelined after an incident involving Saudi Arabia’s Laith Pharaon. He gained 15 points in the Pole Position Championship and headed into today’s trials lying sixth in the Pole series. Price, meanwhile, earned nine points in Portugal for his fourth position in the Slam Trophy category.
Tomorrow (Sunday) marks the start of the Grand Prix of Italy, with three-times World Champion Gillman and nine-times World Champion Cappellini set to renew their rivalry and quest for the title over a purpose-built course on Lake Como. The race begins at 16.00 hrs (Qatar time).
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