F1 Qatar Team heads to the Algarve for start of the GP of Portugal

Grand Prix of Portugal/Algarve, May 12th-13th

For immediate release
Monday, May 7th, 2007


Qatar fields three-strong team in first F1 race of 2007 season;
Sunday start for opening F1 race in Portimao, Portugal

PORTIMAO (Portugal): The Qatar F1 Team begins its challenge for honours in the punishing UIM F1 World Championship on the Algarve coast of Portugal this coming weekend (May 12th-13th).

American veteran Jay Price will be joined by the experienced Italian Massimo Roggiero and Qatar Team newcomer Leo Bonelli in a trio of BaBa boats for the race at the tourist resort of Portimao on Sunday. The team has undergone several changes since the final race of last season off the Corniche in Sharjah and the Portuguese race will be the first for new Qatar team manager Pelle Larsson.

The Swede has vast experience in a racing and organisational role and is confident that his three drivers can challenge the established F1 stars, defending champion Scott Gillman, Emirates Team racer Thani Al-Qamzi, multiple champion and last year’s Portugal race winner Guido Cappellini, Swede Jonas Andersson and Saudi Arabia’s Laith Pharaon.

The Doha-based F1 team is an integral part of the set-up at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation and falls under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani. Team members were testing in Italy at the end of last week in readiness for the season’s opener.

Bonelli, 27, will be making his first appearance for the Qatar Team, but both Price and Roggiero showed their potential on select races last year and were frequently in a top six position.

“Leo was been testing a lot in Italy this year in his BaBa, so he is well prepared for his graduation to the team,” said 42-year-old Larsson, the QMSF’s F1 Team Manager. “We have worked long hours with the new crash box, but the boats are now ready for the first race. This has also given us time to look at every technical aspect of the boats before the season starts. That is very important, because we arrive in Portugal fully-prepared for the first free practice session.

“I have high expectation for this season with the Qatar Team and would like to think that Jay and Massimo would be right up there with the top runners. I am sure that an outright victory is achievable in Doha later in the year. Scott and Guido will be up there at the top of the leaderboards, but I am sure that Jay and Massimo will be matching them as well.”

Larsson is relishing the start of his first F1 season with the Qatar Team. “I have been involved in the sport of power boat racing for a long time, but not so much in F1 and I am aware that it is different. I am happy with the driver line-up and the set-up of the boats and am really looking forward to the first race of the season. There have been several new additions to the team and I am delighted to be working with Kurt Jansson, Bo Hansson and Claudio Borra this year, all of whom have tremendous experience.”

The Grand Prix of Portugal meeting gets underway with technical scrutineering of the boats and team registration on Thursday, May 11th. The first free practice session takes place on Friday morning and this is followed by the first and second time trials at noon and 14.00hrs (local time). The F1 Powerboat Shoot-out for the fastest six racers to determine Pole Position begins at 15.00hrs.

Grand Prix race day on Sunday, May 13th starts with a driver’s briefing and free practice in the morning, with the Grand Prix of Portugal/Algarve 2007 firing into life at 14.00hrs (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: 07/05/2007

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