F1 Roggiero and Price qualify in top seven for Grand Prix of China

Grand Prix of China, round 4
October 4-5th, 2006

For immediate release
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006


Gillman and Cappellini lead the way in qualifying;
F1 Qatar Team’s Price seventh in qualifying for GP

CHENGDU (China): The Qatar F1 Team will start Thursday’s Grand Prix of China, round four of the UIM F1 World Championship, in a very competitive position on the Wenjing river grid, after team mates Massimo Roggiero and Jay Price finished today’s qualifying sessions in third and seventh places, respectively.

Roggiero made the Pole Shoot-Out competition with the third fastest time, while Price set the seventh fastest lap in qualifying and missed out on a place in the six-man Shoot-Out by a mere 0.11s.

American Scott Gillman was the fastest of the drivers in the two qualifying sessions, pipping the defending World Champion Guido Cappellini, while Qatar’s Roggiero qualifying for the Shoot-Out in third place. Finland’s Sami Selio, Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and the UAE’s Thani Al-Qamzi completed the Shoot-Out top six.

“We had cloudy and foggy conditions since we arrived in China,” said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, QMSF Team Director and Head of Formula Racing. “But there was no wind and it was a case today of Massimo and Jay picking the right time to go out on to the water and set a competitive time. We are very pleased with the way everything has gone. They are very close to Cappellini and that bodes well for the race on Thursday.”

In this morning’s free timed practice session Cappellini set the fastest time with a stunning lap of 47.07s, with Fabio Comparato in second place. Both Roggiero and Price were down in eighth and 14th positions, but they quickly speeded up when it mattered in the first official qualifying session. The Qatar GP-winning Italian Ivan Brigada was forced out of the race meeting with an ankle injury sustained in a recent football match.

Cappellini was again fastest in the Tamoil F1 boat, posting 48.91s in first qualifying, with Finnish Pole Championship leader Sami Selio in second place, tied with Comparato on 49.33s. But the F1 Qatar Team had made some improvements and Louisiana-based Price - who finished second overall in last year’s F2000 World Championship - was a very competitive fifth in 49.73s, a mere 3/100ths of a second ahead of his Italian team mate Roggiero in their Mercury-engined Babas. Roggiero finished third in the World Championship in both 1998 and 2002 and was ninth overall last season.

Californian Gillman was the fastest driver on the water in the second qualifying session, the Emirates F1 driver posting a best time of 47.45s during his eight laps of the river course. Cappellini set a 48.20s lap during his four tours and Roggiero leapt into contention for the F1 Qatar Team with a superb fastest lap of 48.26s during his eight laps. Selio and Sweden’s Jonas Andersson completed the top five and Qatar’s Price was seventh, posting a best lap of 48.60s during a marathon 17 laps on the water.

Today’s Pole and Shoot Out action took place at a purpose-built Watersports Park at Chongzhou, 50 kms south of Chengdu city. A sell-out crowd of 35,000 spectators watched the action and millions more were expected to tune into a live television feed. The venue was developed on the Wenjing river near a giant dam, with permanent grandstands on both sides of the river. Tomorrow (Thursday) sees the start of the Grand Prix of China at 14.30 hrs (local time).


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: 04/10/2006

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