F1 Sixth and 12th places for Qatar Team in qualifying for GP of France
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, round 2
Grand Prix of France, Charente-Maritime/La Rochelle, May 19th-20th, 2007
For immediate release
Saturday, May 19th, 2007
QATAR F1 TEAM SET TO START GRAND
PRIX OF FRANCE IN 6th AND 12th PLACES
Rough water forces cancellation of Shoot-Out final;
Jay Price and Leo Bonelli impress in Saturday's time trial
LA ROCHELLE (France): The Qatar F1 Team's Jay Price and Leo Bonelli will start Sunday's Grand Prix of France in sixth and 12th positions after the time trials at La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast on Saturday. Australian David Trask will starts tomorrow's race with the knowledge that he set the fastest time in the first trial, although rough weather conditions forced officials to cancel the Shoot-Out competition.
The Qatar Team pair arrived in western France in confident mood after Price clinched third place at the opening round of the UIM F1 World Championship in Portugal last weekend. He was beaten only by the defending World Champion Scott Gillman of the Emirates Team and multiple former champion Guido Cappellini of the Tamoil F1 outfit.
Australia's David Trask benefited from calmer water to set the fastest time in the first of the two time trials in his XPV Racing hull on Saturday afternoon, with Gillman and Finland's Sami Selio completing the top three. Price ran for 16 laps and set a fastest time of 49.74s to take the sixth quickest time, while Bonelli was a little disappointed with 12th place in a time of 50.76s after suffering lift problems.
~It took us about 50 minutes to run the new engines in this morning and then Leo had a problem with the lift pump on his boat in the first time trial and wasn't able to run at full speed,~ said Sweden's Pelle Larsson, F1 Team Manager at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). ~We have tested various propeller settings, but it is not easy to get the perfect set-up when everyone is so closely matched.
~The plan for the second time trial was to go out early and try and find some clear and calmer water. But it was not meant to be. I am quite happy though and we can look forward to the race with optimism.~
The second crucial time trial was not able to continue. Water conditions deteriorated and larger waves or 'rollers' spoiled teams' chances of improving on their first time trial times. Only a couple of boats took to the water and the Shoot-Out competition was duly cancelled as a result.
In this morning's free practice session, both Price and Bonelli were able to test and run in the new Mercury engines that have been fitted to their BaBa boats for this race meeting. They were in superb form. The session was dominated by Guido Cappellini, but Price ran for 32 laps and set the second fastest lap of 48.98s. Bonelli also impressed with the third quickest time of 49.69s during his 15-lap stint. Sweden's Jonas Andersson was fourth.
The Qatar team runs from the auspices of the QMSF and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani.
Tomorrow (Sunday) the 24-boat entry will be permitted a free practice session from 09.30hrs (local time), before the Grand Prix of France gets underway at 14.00hrs.
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: email@example.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).