F1 Qatar Team fails to finish in disappointing Grand Prix in China
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, round 3
Grand Prix of Xi’an, China, October 5th, 2007
For immediate release
Friday, October 5th, 2007
QATAR F1 TEAM’S JAY PRICE FORCED OUT OF
GRAND PRIX OF XI’AN WITH TECHNICAL PROBLEMS
Qatar Team’s Bonelli forced to miss the race with fever
Victory in Xi’an falls to Thani Al-Qamzi and the Emirates F1 team
XI’AN (China): Qatar F1 Team drivers Jay Price failed to finish the Grand Prix of Xi’an in China, after staging a terrific fight back through the field on the opening laps of round three of this year’s UIM F1 World Championship on Friday.
The race was won by the UAE driver Thani Al-Qamzi from the Emirates F1 Team, with Italian Guido Cappellini in second position and Finland’s new championship leader Sami Selio taking third. Price’s team mate Leo Bonelli was forced to withdraw after the parade lap with a fever.
“It was one of those disappointing weekends where he had a lot of problems,” said Qatar F1 team manager Pelle Larsson. “Jay had a good speed this morning on his practice lap, so we know we can be competitive, but it was not our weekend. Leo had a fever and didn’t start the race and we had the problems with Jay’s boat yesterday and the power trim problem today. He did not feel good about the boat, so we decided not to continue when he came into the pits. He had started very well and was up to eighth position at the first turn buoy.
“Now we will go straight to Shenzhen for the next race, prepare the boats meticulously and make sure that we are in the best condition for the next race.”
Foggy conditions had prevailed over the Chan Ba River for the Pole Position sessions on Thursday, but the weather improved for race afternoon, as Price and Bonelli set about battling through the field from lowly 16th and 21st places on the starting grid. The sun began to break through low cloud, although it was still misty in places on the course.
Race officials arranged a severe jump start penalty and a new ‘drive through’ penalty for hitting buoys in this race, with drivers sent to the back of the grid for jumping the start and forced to run through the pit lane at 4,000rpm for hitting a turn buoy.
Dessertenne was the first to hit trouble and spun out of a podium place on the first lap. Boats ran under a yellow flag for four laps, although Cappellini headed the group after the restart from Al-Qamzi, Andersson, Selio and Gillman. Price was stuck in traffic in the middle of the field and trying his best to gain positions in somewhat misty and humid conditions. Unfortunately, Bonelli was unable to continue after the parade lap and returned to the pits in his BaBa. The fever that had plagued the Italian in qualifying had persisted and he took a sensible decision to withdraw from the race.
By lap seven, Selio dropped back and Pierre Lundin moved into contention, but the leaders held station, until Gillman began a climb into fourth place and Andersson crept into second position behind Cappellini. Gillman was displaced by Selio for fourth overall, but Price had problems with his power trim and returned to the pits for the team mechanics to take a closer look.
Cappellini began to extend his lead, as the Russian driver Stas Kourtsenovsky crashed out of the running in spectacular style. The stoppage enabled second-placed Andersson and the trailing Al-Qamzi to close in on the Italian as the fleet continued to follow the pace boat under yellow flags. But Andersson suddenly stopped with mechanical problems while cruising behind the pace boat and this handed Al-Qamzi second position.
Gillman slowed dramatically and dropped back to 16th place, as Cappellini headed a group that consisted of Al-Qamzi, Selio, Lundin and Trask. But then there was further drama when Brigada spectacularly barrel-rolled out of the race, as the misty conditions deteriorated once again. After the restart Al-Qamzi drew level with Cappellini and actually snatched the overall lead, as the Italian came under pressure from a charging Selio over the closing laps. Sweden’s Pierre Lundin and Australian David Trask completed the top five.
In Friday morning’s free practice session, Price was back on his expected pace now that the performance of the boat was sorted. Australian David Trask set the fastest time of 43.28s, with Jonas Andersson second in 44m14s, but Price was much happier with the third fastest time of 44.30s. Bonelli failed the reach the start, as he had done in the second timed qualifying session on Thursday afternoon, although he was still given the 21st official grid position out of 23 for the main 55-lap race on the 1.9km circuit.
The team, which under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, will return to competitive action in Shenzhen, China, on October 20th-21st for the fourth round of this year’s UIM World Championship.
Grand Prix of Xi’an – race positions (unofficial @ 16.25rs (local time)
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team
2. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1
3. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy
4. Pierre Lundin (S) Comparato Racing
5. David Trask (AUS) XPV Racing, etc
UIM F1 World Championship - positions after round 3 of 8 (unofficial)
1. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 41 pts
2. Scott Gillman (USA) Emirates F1 Team 35 pts
3. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 30 pts
4. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team 21 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 20 pts, etc
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