C1 Qatar Team set to build on solid foundations in UIM Class 1 racing

Latest news from the QMSF

For immediate release
Tuesday, September 26th, 2006


QMSF President sees a golden future for Class 1 Powerboat racing;
Qatar Team eyes end-of-season goal of the UIM Middle East title

DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani may not be able to clinch this year’s UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, but he and Doha-based team mate Abdullah Al-Sulaiti are still hot favourites to secure a maiden 2006 UIM Middle East title and build upon the team’s solid foundations in time for the start of what promises to be a thrilling 2007 season.

Sheikh Hassan is relishing the future for this exciting form of high-speed marine sport. “The UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship is getting better every year. Everyone connected with the sport is excited and the future looks very bright. I firmly believe that the 2007 season will be the best so far. This discipline has so much more to offer.

“The reputation that Class 1 carried around the world is the secret,” enthuses the twice Grand Prix winner. “The size and colour of the boats are the main feature of the sport. The technology involved is extremely guarded. Some general facts are known to the public, but the remainder is kept secret. This adds to the excitement and uncertainty of Class 1.”

Sheikh Hassan is convinced that Class 1 racing will become an integral part of the Monaco sporting calendar in future years. A potential race in Cannes was cancelled this year, but the Qatar Team driver admits that championship officials are doing all they can to improve and expand the future race calendar. “I do believe that we will have a race in Monaco one day. There were restrictions imposed by the Municipality this year, but I do believe that our sport is ranked just as high as Formula One and we are all working together to enhance the annual race calendar.”

Niggling teething problems with the new Mercury engines have plagued the Qatar Team this season, particularly Sheikh Hassan’s Qatar 96 boat. But the President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) is positive about the future. “The engines are in very good condition, but it’s the ancillary parts that have been letting us down, even though we have been using the best that are currently available. We are going to go about things differently in future races. We will sit down and go through the entire boat and change almost everything.

“I do believe that we are working in the right direction, even though we have had some early problems. We must remember that we are developing the engines and the boat during the race season. The rules have made things a bit difficult to predict and it’s a learning curve for us all.”

While Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Sheikh Hassan have been the mainstay of the Qatar Team this year, with the obvious support of throttlemen Matteo Nicolini, Lino Di Biase and a small army of mechanics and technicians, Sheikh Hassan is upbeat about Mohammed Al-Nasser’s future in the sport.

“Mohammed has been our reserve driver this year and had a run-out in Plymouth,” said Sheikh Hassan. “We will try him in the boat again and there are plans to introduce him into Class 3 racing to get him up to speed. Abdullah is enjoying a superb season in Qatar 95 and long may that continue.”

The final two races in this year’s captivating UIM Class 1 calendar will take place in the United Arab Emirates at the end of November and the start of December.


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


Date issued: 26/09/2006

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