F1 Qatar Team arrives in Xian for 6th Grand Prix of China


Grand Prix of Xi’an, China, October 4-5th, 2007

For immediate release, Monday, October 1st, 2007





Jay Price bids for first F1 GP win of season

Qatar Team’s Bonelli ready for Xi’an challenge


XI’AN (China): After a lay-off of nearly five months, the UIM F1 World Championship resumes in China this week and the Qatar F1 Team are confident that the third race in the eight-round series will kick-start the team’s chances of taking the world title with six races planned in the next 70 days.


Qualifying and official practice will take place on Thursday, October 4th, with the race taking place on the historic Yellow River in Xi’an on Friday, October 5th.


The Qatar F1 Team will be represented by American Jay Price and Leo Bonelli in China, with Price currently lying third overall in the championship and within striking distance of American series leader Scott Gillman and second-placed Finn Sami Selio. Italian Bonelli lies equal eighth in the series, but has shown promise in summer testing and is keen to move up the championship points’ table.


Price, from New Orleans, finished second overall in his first ever Chinese race last year and has shown a consistent turn of speed this season in the BaBa hull, the Qatar F1 driver finishing third in Portugal and fourth in France.


Qatar F1 team manager Pelle Larsson realises the importance of a good finish in Xi’an on Friday. “I do not know much about the venue but, from last year’s experience, we know the race will be well organised and there will be thousands of spectators. The race course should be quite small, with calm water so we should be able to get good speeds. Obviously Scott Gillman from the Emirates Team and Guido Cappellini from the Tamoil Team will be the men to beat, but we will also need to watch out for Sami Selio.


“We have lost a race in Singapore this year and gained a second event in Doha,” added Larsson, talking about the cancellation of the Far East race. “It is disappointing that we will not race in Singapore, but the whole team is delighted that we will get two events in Qatar. Now we have a better chance to show the Qatari people what we are capable of.”


Larsson admits that the team has carried out a lot of useful testing in preparation for two Chinese races in the space of three weeks. “We have done a lot of testing to find a good Formula 2 driver and everyone has had time to relax and mentally prepare for China. The next three months will be very demanding. There will be no time to relax. It will be full throttle for everyone.”


Xi’an is located in the centre of China and is renowned for its famous Terracotta Warriors, dating back to the first Chinese Emperor Huangdi of the Oin Dynasty in 211 to 207 BC. The city is capital of the Shaanxi Province and is regarded as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.


After acclimatising to Xi’An, the Qatar F1 team will carry out some testing during the first session on Thursday, where it will be possible to make any last minute changes to the boat set-ups before the race on Friday afternoon.


While Larsson is in charge of the day to day running of the team on behalf of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, the team has numerous members of staff crucial to the smooth running of the operation present in China.


Among the key personnel are Mohammed Al-Jaidah (Head of Formula Racing at the QMSF) and QMSF delegates Khalid Al-Kuwari and Jehad Al-Jaidah. Qatari rookie formula drivers Ahmed Saad Al-Fayyad and Yousef Jassim Al-Khulaifi have also made the trip with the F1 team.


Jay Price can rely on the back up from Kurt Jansson, Bo Hansson, Brendan Power, Mauro D’Allesi and Nasser Al-Naeimi for his boat, although Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Ali will also be on hand as a driver adviser. He has been sidelined from Formula One racing since his crash last season.


Completing the Qatar F1 team line-up in China are the staff working on Bonelli’s BaBa hull. Italians Alex Canzi, Massimo Coppa and Enrico Caspani are in change of technical work and Qatar’s Yacob Al-Mohammadi has been recruited to work as an assistant.


Race preparations will begin on Wednesday with technical scrutineering, before the first one hour free practice session gets underway at 10.00hrs (local time) on Thursday morning. The first time trials will take place between 13.00-13.45hrs, before the second time trials start from 14.45hrs and the F1 Powerboat Shoot-Out for the top six drivers brings the day’s action to a conclusion between 16.45-17.15hrs.


After a second free practice session from 10.00hrs on Friday morning, the Grand Prix of Xi’An fires into life at 15.00hrs over a seven-turn course on the Yellow River.


UIM F1 World Championship  - positions after round 2 of 8

1. Scott Gillman (USA)                     Emirates F1 Team                35 pts

2. Sami Selio (FIN)                           F1 Team Energy                   29 pts

3. Jay Price (USA)                          Qatar Team                          21 pts

4. Guido Cappellini (I)                       Tamoil F1                               15 pts

5. Jonas Andersson (S)                   F1 Team Sweden                 12 pts

6. Philippe Chiappe (F)                    Atlantic Team                        10 pts

7. Philippe Dessertenne (F)            CTIC China Charente           7 pts

8. Leo Bonelli (I)                              Qatar Team                          5 pts, etc




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: 01/10/2007

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