C1 Qatar Team arrives in Greece for opening WPPA Class 1 Grand Prix

Greek Grand Prix, Palaio Faliro-Athens - June 9th-10th, round 1 of 8

For immediate release
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007


• Qatar Class 1 Team faces nine boats at new Greek race venue
• Sheikh Hassan relishes the challenge of a new race season

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Team arrives in Greece early this week to begin their final preparations for the Greek Grand Prix at Palaio Faliro-Athens, which kick-starts this season’s WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship on Sunday.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani again teams up with Italian Matteo Nicolini in the Skema V12-powered Qatar 96, while Abdullah Al-Sulaiti is joined by Nicolini’s brother Luca in the V8-engined Qatar 95. Three new race venues in Greece, Romania and Egypt will test teams to the limit this season and the Qatar Team know full well that there are several new faces in rival boats that could spring a surprise.

The Qatar Team will face nine boats this season, including two from the Spirit of Norway team, two from the Dubai-based Victory Team, the Norwegian Jotun boat and the new partnership of Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker in a rebuilt Negotiator running with Sterling V8 engines.

Five are proven race winners and seven have won a pole position during the course of the last few seasons. Sheikh Hassan knows that he will need to overcome the defending champions and pre-season favourites Steve Curtis and Bjorn Gjelsten to win the title this year.

“I don’t know much about the race course, but it appears to be very fast and the weather conditions will be critical,” admitted Sheikh Hassan, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “Variable wind and water conditions will be deciding factors.

“Our strategy will depend upon the results of the free practice sessions and what we can achieve in the Pole Position competition. It will be our first opportunity to compare our times with the new teams and the times of our established rivals and how we can attack the race course lap-by-lap.”

The weekend’s formalities get underway on Friday (June 8th) with technical scrutineering and the first official two-hour practice session on the race course starting at 15.30 hrs. Saturday morning offers teams the chance to carry out testing between noon and 13.30hrs, before the revised Edox Pole Position competition fires into life at 16.00hrs.

The Greek Grand Prix takes place on Sunday, June 10th. Teams will be permitted an hour of official practice from noon and the race takes place at the later time of 17.00hrs over 21 laps of a new course and a total distance of 96.63Nm. This consists of a 4.81Nm start lap, 18 runs across the 4.54Nm course and two long laps of 5.05Nm.

2007 WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship - entrants

Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani (QA)/Matteo Nicolini (I) Qatar Team Qatar 96
Abdullah Al-Sulaiti (QA)/Luca Nicolini (I) Qatar Team Qatar 95
Christian Zaborowski (N)/Jorn Tandberg (N) Ugland Offshore Racing Jotun 90
Bard Eker (N)/Chris Parsonage (GB) Chris Parsonage RacingNegotiator 50
TBA/Nicola Giorgi (I) Giorgioffshore SeveneleveN 18
Enrico Ceriale (I)/Maurizio Ceschin (I) Overwave Racing Overwave 11
Bjorn Rune Gjelsten (N)/Steve Curtis (GB)Spirit of Norway RacingSpirit of Norway 10
Tom Barry-Cotter (AUS)/Pal Virik Nilsen (N) Spirit of Norway RacingSpirit of Norway 20
Domenico Cirilli (E)/Giampaolo Montavoci (I) Veneta Marina Foresty & Suardi 8
Arif Said Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Jean-Marc Sanchez (F) Victory Team Victory 77
Ahmed Al-Suwaidi (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE) Victory Team Victory 7


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: 05/06/2007

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