F1 Qatar Team prepares for maiden Chinese challenge
UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of China, round 4
October 4-5th, 2006
For immediate release
Wednesday, September 13th, 2006
QATAR F1 TEAM PREPARES FOR
MAIDEN CHINESE CHALLENGE
Roggiero and Price all set for Grand Prix of China
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar F1 Team heads into the second half of this year’s UIM F1 World Championship buoyed by the recent performances of drivers Massimo Roggiero and Jay Price in the Grand Prix of Italy on Lake Como. The pair proved that they have the pace to match the likes of defending World Champion and series leader Guido Cappellini and his arch American rival Scott Gillman.
The second half of the season will see the Doha-based Qatar Team, led by Mohammed Al-Jaidah, the QMSF’s Team Director and Head of Formula Racing, tackle the Grand Prix of China for the first time at the start of October and two races in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in December.
Once again, the experienced Italian Roggiero – third overall in the Grand Prix of Italy - will line-up alongside American Jay Price in the Qatar Team. New Orleans-based Price was a regular member of the Qatar F2000 team in 2004 and joined the F1 operation in Portimao for the second race of the year. He held third position, but eventually slipped to sixth place in the Grand Prix of Italy after suffering late fuel feed problems.
Roggiero is tied for sixth position with 12 points in the UIM F1 series after three rounds with Frenchman Philippe Dessertenne and Australian Bob Trask. Dessertenne and Roggiero both have one podium finish this season, while Trask took a career-best fifth place in Doha at the start of the year.
“This will be the first time that the Qatar Team has taken part in a race in China and we are all looking forward to it immensely,” said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, QMSF Team Director and Head of Formula Racing. “There has been no time to test after the Italian race, as we wanted to get all the equipment packed away for shipment, but we hope to have an improved engine in Jay’s boat for the race in China and that will give him a better chance in the Pole qualifying. He used a stock unit in Italy and we had some fuel feed problems.
“We showed in Italy that our boats are fast and competitive. I suppose the goal in China will be for both boats to get into the top three. Both Massimo and Jay are capable of doing that. It will depend largely upon the conditions and how we set up the boats on race weekend.”
The Grand Prix of China will be the fifth event of its kind in the history of F1 racing and will take place on a river course near the city of Chongzhou (Chengdu) in the Sichuan Province of the People’s Republic of China. The capital of the ‘Heavenly State’ or Tian Fu Zhil Guo, the city has a population of around 11 million and is famous for its giant rare pandas and natural flora.
The first ever Chinese Grand Prix took place 11 years ago at Hangzhou, where Cappellini emerged the winner in front of an estimated 500,000 spectators and around 10,000 policemen. Current championship leader Cappellini was again the winner when the series returned to Wuzi the following year, while Welshman Jonathan Jones won the third Chinese event at Xiamen, near the South China Sea, in 1997. After a seven-year absence, China returned to the calendar in 2004 and Californian Gillman ran out the winner in the bustling city of Shanghai.
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