C1 Teams and officials arrive in Doha for crucial Qatar Grand Prix


Class One Doha 2007, The Qatar Grand Prix, November 15th-17th, 2007, round 6 of 8


For immediate release

Monday, November 12th, 2007





Testing course set to challenge Class 1 race teams in Doha Bay

First free practice session planned for Thursday morning


DOHA (Qatar): Drivers, team technicians, members of the world’s media and race officials have arrived in Doha to begin their final preparations for this weekend’s prestigious Qatar Grand Prix, round six of the 2007 WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, which takes place in Doha Bay on November 16th-17th.


The event is being organised by staff at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), in collaboration with the WPPA, although QMSF president, His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, will be busy in both an organising and racing role this weekend. He and Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini are in strong contention to win the coveted world title for the first time at the helm of Qatar 96 and Sheikh Hassan is relishing the prospect of a weekend’s racing on home waters against his arch rivals.


“It’s always expected that you should perform better on home waters and be on the podium,” admitted Sheikh Hassan. “But reaching the podium is not easy. It will require that much extra effort to get the boat to accelerate that extra mile per hour and to make sure that we are ahead of the game. Saying that, Doha Bay waters give an advantage to the top teams trying to perform to their best.”


QMSF board member Mohammed Al-Jaidah will be the officer of the day for this Saturday’s Qatar Grand Prix, although Sheikh Hassan admits that the course is never easy. “We have made no major changes to the course and the race will be run as usual in Doha Bay.”


An extra air of excitement has been introduced to previous races in Doha because of the course’s close proximity to the shoreline on the Corniche. This can and has caused the sensation of ‘wave bounce-back’, which can affect the handling of a race boat travelling at high speed.


But Sheikh Hassan and Doha-based team mate Abdullah Al-Sulaiti know this can happen and will adjust their strategies accordingly. “The bouncing water is just something we all have to live with and work around,” added Sheikh Hassan. “This year we have made the long straight head directly into an easterly direction to give a better view of the race to the spectators on the Corniche.”


In conjunction with local authorities, the QMSF have created spectator stands on Doha’s picturesque Corniche by the Belhambar restaurant. There will also be exhibition tents and a VIP area to enable people to gain closer access to the start of Friday’s crucial Edox Pole Position qualifying and Saturday’s actual race.


The weekend’s formalities begin with documentation and scrutineering on Thursday morning (November 15th) between 09.00hrs and noon, before teams will be permitted to take part in a vital first two-hour free practice session from noon.


A second free practice session has been allocated between 10.30hrs and noon on Friday morning and the Edox Pole Position competition – to determine starting order for Saturday’s race – will get underway at 15.00hrs on Friday. Race day fires into life with a final practice session between 09.30hrs and 11.00hrs on Saturday morning and then spectators can enjoy the spectacle of a local pleasure boat race at 11.30hrs.


The Qatar Grand Prix begins at 14.30hrs on Saturday afternoon and will run for a total distance of 92.88Nm. The race consists of a starting lap of 4.29Nm, 17 normal race laps totalling 78.37Nm and two compulsory long laps of 5.11Nm apiece.





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: 12/11/2007

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