1













C1 Second position in Qatar Grand Prix keeps title hopes alive for Qatar 96

2007 WPPA CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP, round 6 of 8

2007 WPPA CLASS 1 MIDDLE EAST POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP, round 2 of 4

Class One Doha 2007, The Qatar Grand Prix - Saturday, November 17th, 2007

 

For immediate release

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

 

SHEIKH HASSAN MAINTAINS WORLD TITLE

CHALLENGE WITH SECOND PLACE IN DOHA

 

 

Victory 77 takes giant step towards world title with Qatar Grand Prix victory

Qatar 95 finishes in fourth position, engine problems wreck Spirit’s title chances

 

DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Matteo Nicolini maintained their world title challenge by finishing second overall in the Qatar Grand Prix, round six of this year’s WPPA Class One World Powerboat Championship, on Saturday afternoon.

 

But title rivals and championship leaders Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Jean-Marc Sanchez moved up from fourth to first on the opening lap and held the lead throughout the race to take a vital win in Victory 77. Chris Parsonage and Bard Eker took their best result of the season in Negotiator to complete the podium places and Doha’s Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Luca Nicolini were fourth in Qatar 95.

 

The result means that Spirit of Norway can no longer win the world title and the Qatar 96 crew head to Dubai a mere two points behind Victory 77 in the wide-open WPPA Class 1 Middle East Championship and 22 points behind in the world title race.

 

Sheikh Hassan was unfazed before the start. “It was always going to be a funny race this time. Spirit had pole and needed to win, Victory 7 and Jotun were side-by-side and had unfinished business, then we had Victory 77 just inside us. Maybe I should have sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the show,” he added. “Now we have to go to Dubai and deliver a good performance and hope that results go our way.”

 

A large crowd packed the Corniche as the 10 boats powered away from the start, forcing ‘rooster tails’ of salty spray high into the air above Doha Bay. It was a spectacular sight as the leaders accelerated towards the first turn and that all-important early advantage.

 

The race was processional for long periods, once Victory 77, Spirit of Norway and Qatar 96 had edged in front on the opening lap and Nadir Bin Hendi and Talib Al-Sayed had hooked the front of Victory 7 into a corner and slipped from second to ninth on the opening tour.

 

Victory 77 began to edge away as the race progressed, but the long lap strategy was crucial and Bjorn Rune Gjelsten and Steve Curtis MBE closed to within three seconds after lap 14, only to see their title aspirations destroyed on lap 15 with terminal engine problems. “That’s the end of the championship,” groaned Curtis.

 

Victory 77, Spirit and Qatar 96 were out in front for the first half of the race, as a fascinating tussle developed between Jotun, Negotiator and Qatar 95 for fourth position. The Norwegian crew held the advantage after four laps, before slipping behind Negotiator on lap five. When Jotun was sidelined with mechanical problems on the sixth tour, Parsonage and Eker settled into a rhythm that was sufficient to fend off the challenge from Qatar 95 and a resurgent Victory 7, the Dubai crew struggling to make up time after the first lap mistake.

 

SeveneleveN fell by the wayside early on, but the other boats were running in procession until Gjelsten and Curtis made that canny second long lap and benefited from team mates Tom Barry-Cotter and Pal Virik Nilsen unwittingly holding up the charging Victory 77. The engine failure put paid to thoughts of a last-gasp win, however.

 

As a triumphant Victory 77 passed the chequered flag, Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini drove a patient and measured race to confirm 15 vital championship points for second overall and ensure that the title race will not be decided until the final two Grand Prix in Dubai. They also set up a thrilling showdown for the covete Middle East title.

 

Teams had used the final timed practice session on calm waters in Doha Bay to finalise their set-ups, run the long lap for the last time before the race and simulate the all-important start. Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini posted the fastest time of 2m 43.76s. “We had a final check this morning and ran at speed for just one lap,” said Sheikh Hassan. “We simulated the start, but we had a good race set-up.”

 

Victory 77 were second quickest in 2m 45.71s, but the results were of little importance with the start of the main race looming. Spirit of Norway used the session merely to carry out final checks on the course, although Jotun suffered electrical problems and had to make last minute adjustments.

 

Class One Doha 2007, The Qatar Grand Prix – final positions
1. Victory 77 – Arif Al Zafeen(UAE)/Jean-Marc Sanchez (F)                           55m 00m 20s        
2. Qatar 96 – Hassan Al Thani (Q)/Matteo Nicolini (I)                             + 1m 17.73s           
3. Negotiator 50 – Bard Eker (N)/Chris Parsonage (GB)                            + 1m 57.97s           
4. Qatar 95 – Abdullah Al Sulaiti (QA)/Luca Nicolini (I)                             + 2m 19.67s                       
5. Victory 7 – Talib Al Sayed (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE)                                     + 2m 29.41s           
6. Spirit of Norway 20 – Tom Barry-Cotter (AUS)/Pal Virik Nilsen (N)       1 lap behind           
7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – Kolbjorn Selmer (N)/Giampaolo Montavoci (I)         2 laps behind           

8. Spirit of Norway 10 – Bjorn Gjelsten (N)/Steve Curtis (GB)                 5 laps behind
Jotun 90 – Christian Zaborowski (N)/Jorn Tandberg (N)                                     DNF               

SeveneleveN 18 – Tomaso Polli (I)/Nicola Giorgi (I)                                             DNF

WPPA CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 6 of 8
1. Victory 77 – Arif Al Zafeen(UAE)/Jean-Marc Sanchez (F)                           116pts
2. Qatar 96 – Hassan Al Thani (Q)/Matteo Nicolini (I)                             94pts
3. Spirit of Norway 10 – Bjorn Gjelsten (N)/Steve Curtis (GB)                 76pts
4. Victory 7 – Talib Al Sayed (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE)                                     53pts
5. Qatar 95 – Abdullah Al Sulaiti (QA)/Luca Nicolini (I)                             49pts
6. Negotiator 50 – Bard Eker (N)/Chris Parsonage (GB)                            37pts
7. Foresti & Suardi 8 – Marco Pennesi (I)/Giampaolo Montavoci (I)             35pts
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – Tom Barry-Cotter (AUS)/Pal Virik Nilsen (N)       29pts
9. SeveneleveN 18 – Tomaso Polli (I)/Nicola Giorgi (I)                                 14pts
10. Jotun 90 – Christian Zaborowski (N)/Jorn Tandberg (N)                                     12pts
11. Fainplast 2 – Kolbjorn Selmer (N)/Mario Esperto (I)                              5pts

 

WPPA CLASS 1 MIDDLE EAST POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP – after round 2 of 4
1. Victory 77 – Arif Al Zafeen(UAE)/Jean-Marc Sanchez (F)                           32pts
2. Qatar 96 – Hassan Al Thani (Q)/Matteo Nicolini (I)                             30pts
3. Spirit of Norway 10 – Bjorn Gjelsten (N)/Steve Curtis (GB)                 23pts
4. Negotiator 50 – Bard Eker (N)/Chris Parsonage (GB)                            21pts
5. Foresti & Suardi 8 – Marco Pennesi (I)/Giampaolo Montavoci (I)             11pts
6. Qatar 95 – Abdullah Al Sulaiti (QA)/Luca Nicolini (I)                             9pts
7. Victory 7 – Talib Al Sayed (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE)                                     7pts
8. Jotun 90 – Christian Zaborowski (N)/Jorn Tandberg (N)                                     5pts
8. Spirit of Norway 20 – Tom Barry-Cotter (AUS)/Pal Virik Nilsen (N)       5pts
10. SeveneleveN 18 – Tomaso Polli (I)/Nicola Giorgi (I)                                 0pts
10. Fainplast 2 – Kolbjorn Selmer (N)/Mario Esperto (I)                              0pts

 

Ends

 

For further information:

Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

 

www.class-1.com

www.qmsf.org

 

 

 

Date issued: 17/11/2007

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

Email: ndppublicity@googlemail.com

Web: www.ndp-publicity.com

Return to Top          Powered by Infotex UK