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F1 Massimo Roggiero set to start GP of Abu Dhabi in third place for Qatar Team

UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, round 5 of 6
December 7th-8th, 2006

For immediate release
Thursday, December 7th, 2006

QATAR F1 TEAM'S ROGGIERO SET TO START ABU DHABI
RACE IN THIRD PLACE BEHIND CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS

Disappointment for Price in Abu Dhabi time trials;
Shoot-Out victory and Pole Position for Cappellini in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar F1 World Championship team will start Friday’s penultimate round of the UIM F1 Powerboat Championship in an excellent third position, after team racer Massimo Roggiero's superb performance in the highly-competitive two Time Trials and Shoot-Out competition for the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, near the Corniche in the UAE’s commercial capital, today (Thursday).

Maximum Pole Position championship points and the fastest time of the Shoot-Out competition fell to Italian Guido Cappellini, with arch rival Scott Gillman taking second place. Roggiero's Qatar team mate Jay Price was forced to miss the second time trial after damaging his Baba boat in a first time trial collision and will not be able to start Friday's race.

~This is an excellent day for Massimo,~ admitted Mohammed Al-Jaidah, Head of Formula racing at the Doha-based Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). ~He will start behind Guido and Scott and has a great chance to take a podium finish in the race. The Baba boat is good in the corners, so we have a great chance.

“Jay had a collision with another racer in the first time trail and flipped the boat. We worked on it straight away to try and get him ready for the second time trial, but it was not possible. There was a crack in the body and we did not want to take any risks.~

Drivers from 15 nations took part in this afternoon’s time trials, with the fastest six boats progressing to the Shoot-Out competition to determine Pole Position points and crucial starting positions for Friday’s race. Cappellini eventually won from Gillman, Roggiero and Jonas Andersson, with Ivan Brigada and Thani Al-Qamzi completing the top six.

In the first of the official time trials, Cappellini was dominant for the Tamoil team and posted a fastest time of 49.56s to control proceedings at the head of the field. Brigada was second and the Emirates Team's Thani Al-Qamzi was third in 50.48s. Behind Sweden's Jonas Andersson, Roggiero was fifth in 50.69s, but Price was unable to post a time.

The second all-important time trial was held a couple of hours later and Cappellini was again at the head of the times, with Roggiero pushing the Qatar Team Baba into second position ahead of a resurgent Gillman. The net effect was that Cappellini, Brigada, Roggiero, Gillman, Al-Qamzi and Andersson headed into the Shoot-Out.

In this morning’s free practice session, the Qatar Team boats excelled to take the second and third fastest times, with Roggiero (51.38s) and Price (51.64s) trailing the flying Cappellini, who set a fastest lap of 49.62s. Brigada was fourth and Gillman was sixth, over two seconds behind his Italian rival.

The Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi is the oldest round of the series and joined the racing calendar 13 years ago.

American-born F1 rookie Price and the experienced Italian racer Roggiero have been knocking on the door of a maiden GP win since joining forced in the Qatar F1 Team this season. Roggiero has started this race on 10 occasions and took four previous podium finishes and a pair of second places in 1998 and 1999. The Italian will start Friday’s race in 10th place in the championship.

Guido Cappellini is a three-times winner in Abu Dhabi and trails arch rival and series leader Scott Gillman by five championship points heading into tomorrow’s race. Gillman won in Abu Dhabi last year and should feature strongly on the Emirates Team’s home waters.

Events on Friday get underway with a free practice session between 10.15 hrs and 11.00 hrs, while the actual 2006 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi fires into life at 15.30 hrs (Dubai time).

Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – Shoot-Out positions (unofficial)
1. Guido Cappellini
2. Scott Gillman
3. Massimo Roggiero
4. Jonas Andersson
5. Ivan Brigada
6. Thani Al-Qamzi

Ends

For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Qatar Mobile: + 974 5435185, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

www.f1boat.com
www.qmsf.org

Date issued: 07/12/2006

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