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C1 Qatar Team opts to start 2007 Class 1 season with V12 and V8 power

2007 CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
Latest news from the Qatar Team

For immediate release
Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

QATAR TEAM OPTS TO START 2007 CLASS
1 RACING SEASON WITH V12 AND V8 POWER

• New Class 1 races for Qatar Team in Greece, Romania and Egypt
• Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani keen to take maiden Class 1 title

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Class 1 World Powerboat Championship Team will begin the 2007 season with V12 and V8 engine power for their Qatar 95 and Qatar 96 race boats.

According to His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani – driver of Qatar 96 - both he and throttleman Matteo Nicolini will team up with Qatar’s Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and new throttleman Luca Nicolini in two competitive V12 and V8 race boats for the start of the punishing eight-round championship. The season gets underway with the Grand Prix of Greece in Athens on June 8th-10th.

“We have switched back to the V12 engine for the beginning of the season,” said Sheikh Hassan, who is also the President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation in Doha. “We made this decision, because we have been waiting a long time for the new rules governing V8 engines to be finalised. It will take us time to upgrade the Mercury V8 engine to make it as competitive as the V12, so reverting to the V12 for the early part of the season is a quick solution and will give us plenty of time to fine tune the V8s in line with the technical regulations.

“There has been no need to carry out further testing with the V12 engine, because we have been able to benefit from race data from last season. We do believe, however, that the improvements we made to the boats in 2006 will give us an edge over the rest of the field. At least that is what I am hoping for.

“We have taken the decision to run one boat with a V12 engine and one boat with the V8, until we are sure that the current rules and modifications we have made will serve their purpose in 2007. We plan to carry out some small tests next week on both Qatar 95 and Qatar 96 to make sure that we are on track in the performance stakes.

“The V12 is an excellent engine but I do believe that, once we finish with the development of the V8, it will be just as competitive as the V12, if not better. I think that that both the Qatar V8 and Skema V12 units are two great engines for us this season.

Last year Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini finished second overall in the Class 1 Pole Position Championship, while Qatar 95 team mates Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Lino Di Biase were classified third in the overall Class 1 championship.

This year’s eight-round series features three new exciting race venues in Greece, Romania and Egypt, with these all-new Grand Prix taking place off the coasts of Athens, Constanta and El Alamein, respectively. The Greek event replaces last year’s opening round in Spain, before the teams head north to Scandinavia for two races in Norway, home of the defending World Champion Bjorn Gjelsten in Spirit of Norway.

From Norway, teams head to the Black Sea coast of Romania, on to the Mediterranean coast of Egypt and then finish the series with three traditional races in the Arabian Gulf in Qatar and the UAE. Races in Egypt, Qatar and the pair of Dubai events will make up a four-round Class 1 Middle East series, with the Doha race taking place on October 8th-10th. The Class 1 European Championship will be fought out over races in Greece, Norway and Romania.

2007 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship calendar

Greece (Athens) June 8-10
Norway (Arendal) July 20-21
Norway (Oslo) August 10-12
Romania (Constanta) August 31-September 2
Egypt (El Alamein) October 18-20
Qatar (Doha) November 8-10
UAE (Dubai) November 29-December 1
UAE (Dubai) December 6-8

Ends

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

www.class-1.com
www.qmsf.org



Date issued: 08/05/2007

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