F1 Shenzhen race challenge awaits Qatar F1 Team
2007 UIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - POWERBOATS
Grand Prix of Shenzhen, China – October 20th-21st, round 4 of 8
For immediate release
Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
QATAR F1 TEAM DETERMINED TO MAKE UP
FOR XI’AN DISAPPOINTMENT IN SHENZHEN
Xi’an problems rectified as team renews UIM title challenge in Shenzhen
Bonelli hoping to be fully fit to join Price in Qatar F1 Team BaBa boats
SHENZHEN (China): The Qatar F1 Team will take part in this weekend’s fourth round of the UIM World Championship at Shenzhen, near the border with Hong Kong in south China, keen to make up for the disappointment of failing to finish the recent round of the series at Xi’an.
Both team drivers Leo Bonelli and Jay Price suffered differing bouts of misfortune on the first of the back-to-back Chinese races, but the Qatar F1 Team arrive in Shenzhen in determined mood.
“The positive is that we found out all the problems we had on the last race before we left Xi’an,” said Pelle Larsson, who manages the F1 team under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“The entire team is worked very hard all the time and the bad luck had nothing to do with any mistakes by crew members. Leo had a virus and the doctor’s advice was for him not to take part in Xi’an. It was simply one of those weekends that went against us. He went to see a doctor back in his home town of Cremona in Italy and the doctor carried out a lot of tests to ensure that he will be fully fit for the next race.”
Larsson admits that the Xi’an weekend is now confined to the history books and the entire team is looking forward to Shenzhen. “The crew will now work on improving the boat and trying to find ways of shedding a little weight with lighter parts. Everyone went home after the Xi’an race. It is much easier for us all to find new set-ups for the boat back home than in China. All the problems are solved so we can now switch our energies to taking a good result in Shenzhen.”
Price has slipped to fourth in the title race, behind Finland’s Sami Selio and rivals Scott Gillman and Guido Cappelini, but Larsson remains confident that the Qatar team duo will deliver a top class performance in Shenzhen. “I will tell Jay to go out there, have fun and try and forget the problems we had. Leo will go out there and focus hard. Both drivers have the goal of reaching the finish in good positions and taking championship points.”
Larsson admits that positives always derive from a negative event. “The good thing is that I was able to see how well the team is working together as a unit. We must remember that the Xi’an meeting was only the third race together for members of the team, but the spirit was evident and plain to see. The drivers were involved in discussions and general conversation and everyone mixed well with each other.
“On the first day in Xi’an we had both an engine electrical problem and a fuel fault, but the biggest problem was that the crew couldn’t pick-up the real cause on the computer. This showed that there was nothing wrong, so it was difficult to find the real error. On the second day there was a fault on lap one with the power trim pump connection from the battery. We tried to make changes, but the day had started badly. On the Sunday warm-up Jay clipped a car tyre in the water and that hooked on the gear casing and broke the propellers. We missed 30 minutes of the warm-up, so it was a catalogue of misfortunes that cost us a good race weekend.”
Larsson admits that Selio and Cappellini will again be the men to beat in Shenzhen, although Gillman is currently recovering after a sudden illness forced him to withdraw from the race in Xi’an. He will miss the Shenzhen race on medical advice. “I spoke to Scott’s wife (Gillman) last week and he was recovering in hospital after a series of tests. Everyone from the Qatar Marine Sports Federation wishes him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him racing again soon.”
The former fishing village of Shenzhen in the Pearl River Delta region is a sub-provincial city of the Guangdong province in southern China. Although the city is famous for its proximity to the boundary with Hong Kong, Shenzhen is a centre for foreign investment and is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It has a population of over nine million and is also the busiest port in China after Shanghai.
After documentation and scrutineering on Friday, race weekend gets underway on Saturday, October 20th with the first of the free timed practice sessions on the Shenzhen course, followed by the two official qualifying sessions, starting at 13.00hrs and 14.45hrs (local time), and the final six-boat shoot-out at 16.45hrs.
Teams will be permitted a second practice session on Sunday morning, before the Grand Prix of Shenzhen fires into life at 15.00hrs on Sunday afternoon (October 21st).
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