F1 Qatar Team uses summer break to prepare for Far East powerboat races
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Mid-season break – latest news from the QMSF
For immediate release
Saturday, July 28th, 2007
QATAR F1 TEAM USES MID-SEASON BREAK TO
PREPARE FOR FAR EAST POWERBOAT RACES
• Jay Price and Leo Bonelli work on fitness programme
• Qatar Team set to test new engines, crash boxes and gear cases
DOHA (Qatar): Members of Qatar’s UIM Formula One Powerboat World Championship team have been keeping busy during the five-month gap between the second round of the series at La Rochelle in France in May and the next round, which takes place at Xi’an in China on October 4th-5th.
Qatar F1 team manager Pelle Larsson has been busy keeping up to speed with developments in the competitive world of powerboat racing and has been working on Qatar F1 team plans in Nykoping in his native Sweden. “I arrived back in Sweden at the end of June to make plans for our team,” said Larsson, who oversees F1 entries for Qatar Team drivers Jay Price and Leo Bonelli under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“Now we have the Qatar F1 team in Nykoping, there has been a lot of work. We have established a brand new set-up, because I felt we had to up our game to the next level to be more competitive in the races. We will now be able to work on the boats and the engines at the actual race sites. Our team has been working to find more speed from the BaBa boats.
“We have tried to reduce the weight of the hulls. The problem is that the boats are too heavy. Unfortunately we had big problems with the crash boxes, because these were not as per the rules. So we are waiting to get new crash boxes from the boat builder and this means that the boats will be heavier than before. There is no point in us testing at the moment until the boats are ready in race trim.”
American Price and Italian Bonelli have also been busy preparing themselves physically over recent weeks, in readiness for a pair of Far East races in China and one Grand Prix in Singapore, before the series returns to the Middle East for the final three races in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
“Jay has been really preparing himself for the next six races,” adds Larsson. “He has been working to lose a little weight and also on his fitness levels, but has had no chance to test the boat. Leo has been working on similar fitness plans, but has also carried out a fair amount of testing, so I think Leo will be strong and up to speed in time for China. The big break between races two and three is unfortunate, but it has given us time to get the Qatar F1 team up to speed and we will be able to carry out some testing before the next race.”
This season has seen a bias towards races in the Far and Middle East, but Larsson admits that he would like to see more races in Europe in 2008. “There has been a long wait this season and waiting makes me nervous. I also want to work on more marketing with the Qatar F1 Team, because Qatar is a beautiful country and it would be nice to show Qatar to the European people at European races in the future.”
Larsson feels that the Qatar F1 Team still has an excellent chance to win trophies this season. “If we can finish all the races, then we have a great chance of taking a good overall result. I don’t know much about the next race venues, but everyone will be in the same position so there will be no benefit for anyone. As soon as we get the crash boxes, we can carry out some testing before we load the container on August 8th to take the equipment to China. We have new, stronger engines and gear cases and a couple of new propellers to test. After that I will go to Doha to begin testing with the Qatar F2 Team and a potential new Qatari driver.”
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