F1 Qatar Team struggles to find form in first China race
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, round 3
Grand Prix of Xi’an, China, October 4-5th, 2007
For immediate release
Thursday, October 4th, 2007
QATAR F1 TEAM STRUGGLES TO
FIND FORM IN FIRST CHINA RACE
Italian Cappellini takes pole position for Grand Prix of Xi’an
Electrical problems hamper Price; Bonelli troubled by a fever
XI’AN (China): The Qatar F1 Team will have to start from 16th and 21st places on the grid for Friday’s Grand Prix of Xi’an in China, after drivers Jay Price and Leo Bonelli were hampered by their own fair share of problems in Thursday’s qualifying competition on the Chan Ba River.
Price struggled to find his form from the outset because of an electrical problem that affected his BaBa’s engine and Italian Bonelli was struck down by a fever and ordered to rest by Qatar F1 Team management. Italian multiple world champion Guido Cappellini eventually took pole position in his Tamoil F1 boat, with Frenchman Phillipe Dessertenne taking second place.
“It was not the best of days for us, but we will bounce back on Friday,” said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, Head of Formula Racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani. “We will work on Jay’s engine now and make sure that we starts the race in tip-top condition. Leo has been told to rest, so we will be ready for Friday. If I was a betting man I would say that Jay would be pushing for the top five in the Grand Prix on Friday. He is pumped up and raring to go.”
Finland’s Sami Selio came to the fore in the first qualifying session with a fastest time of 42.06s. Philippe Dessertenne was second quickest in 42.37s and Guido Cappellini was third. But the Qatar F1 Team struggled to find the competitive form they had showed in France and Price could only set the 14th quickest lap of 44.99s, although it was a marginal improvement on his morning’s qualifying session. Championship leader Scott Gillman was down in sixth place with 43.03s and Price’s team mate Bonelli was 20th in 46.39s.
Cappelini emphasised his experience with the fastest time of 42.08s in the second qualifying heat, beating Selio by a mere 0.3 seconds to guarantee his place in the six-boat shoot-out. Sweden’s Jonas Andersson, the UAE’s Thani Al-Qamzi, Gillman and Italian Ivan Brigada completed the top six, but Price and Bonelli again struggled in 21st and 22nd places.
This ensured that Selio, Cappellini, Dessertenne, Andersson, Al-Qamzi and Gillman reached the final six-boat shoot-out, but the Qatar Team duo of Price and Bonelli would have to start Friday’s Grand Prix from 16th and 21st places on the grid. Cappellini eventually won the six-boat shoot-out with a fastest lap of 40.67s to take the 20 maximum Pole Position points, with Dessertenne, Andersson, Al-Qamzi, Selio and Gillman completing the top six line-up.
In the morning’s first practice session, Cappellini set the fastest time of 42. 44s, 0.52 seconds in front of a resurgent Dessertenne. David Trask was third and Al-Qamzi was fourth, but it was a disappointing start to the Chinese campaign for the Qatar Team duo, which set the tone for the rest of the day. Price was down in 16th place with a 45.15s lap and Bonelli was 20th in 47.53s.
Teams will be permitted to carry out a second free practice session on Friday morning before the Grand Prix of Xi’An gets underway at 15.00hrs (10.00hrs Doha time). Event organisers have arranged around 40,000 seats on the banks of the course to enable spectators to gain excellent vantage points of the race.
2007 UIM F1 World Championship - Pole Position championship positions after round 3 of 8
1. Scott Gillman (USA) Emirates F1 Team 40 pts
2. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 34 pts
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 33 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 31 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 21 pts
6. David Trask (AUS) XPV Racing 20 pts
7. Phillipe Dessertenne (F) CTIC Charente Maritime 15 pts
8. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team 10 pts
For further information:
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