F1 Phillipe Tourre joins Qatar Team for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – December 6th-7th, round 7 of 8
For immediate release
Monday, December 3rd, 2007
QATAR F1 TEAM MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS
FOR FRIDAY’S GRAND PRIX OF ABU DHABI
Frenchman Phillipe Tourre replaces Leo Bonelli in Qatar Team
QMSF gives F2 test to Qatari drivers Al-Fayyad and Al-Khulaifi
ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar F1 Team is currently in Abu Dhabi making final preparations for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, round seven of the UIM F1 World Championship, which takes place on Friday afternoon.
The team endured mixed emotions at the two recent races in Doha, with Jay Price capping the week’s action with a hard-earned fifth place in the second race. But Price heads to Abu Dhabi knowing that he needs at least a podium finish to increase his chances of finishing the season with fourth place in the World Championship. The American currently lies sixth in the points’ standings, seven points behind fifth-placed Scott Gillman and 10 adrift of the in-form, fourth-placed Swede Pierre Lundin.
Italy’s Leo Bonelli will not represent the Qatar Team in Abu Dhabi. The Italian suffered two non-finishes in Doha and has been sidelined by illness in the last few days. Qatar F1 team manager Pelle Larsson has, therefore, confirmed that Price will drive the Qatar Team’s number 11 boat used by Bonelli in Doha and Price’s number 12 BaBa hull will be used by the Frenchman Phillipe Tourre, who drives for the Qatar Team for the first time.
Tourre currently lies 14th in the World Championship standings with nine points scored at the Chinese race in Xi’an in October and the first of the recent Doha races.
“Leo is sick and will not race in Abu Dhabi or Sharjah,” confirmed Larsson. “Jay will drive his boat. We are sure that Leo’s boat is better and this will give Jay a better chance of reaching the podium. My goal for the team is to reach the podium in the last two races of the season. I feel that we have one of the best back-up teams in the entire championship. We were lucky at the last race in Doha that we found a potentially serious problem in the warm-up before the race and managed to solve it. Maybe luck is with us now.”
While Price and Tourre set about ending the season on a high note, Italy’s Guido Cappellini, Thani Al-Qamzi from the Emirates F1 Team and Finland’s Sami Selio will lock horns to decide the outcome of the world championship. Cappellini won the last race in Doha and heads into the crucial Abu Dhabi race with a 15-point series lead over Al-Qamzi, with Selio a further six points behind.
“Guido is one of the best drivers in the world,” said Larsson. “He has so much experience and, with a new boat, he is very hard to beat in good water and good weather conditions. I feel that Jay is capable of beating him in poor weather and rougher seas. Maybe the race will be between Guido and Thani, but we will see…”
Larsson admits that the Emirates F1 Team are sure to benefit from home advantage in Abu Dhabi and that Al-Qamzi and Ahmed Al-Hameli will have good chances of winning the race. “The race course is home for the Emirates Team. I think that they have made more than 100 practice races on this course, but we also know that this course is good for Jay’s boat. Jay has competed here many times in F1 and F2, so he knows the course too. There is always the chance of strong winds, so it could be very interesting.”
Before arriving in Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon, Larsson and representatives of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, carried out a test session in Doha with the team’s new Qatari F2 drivers Ahmed Al-Fayyad and Yousef Al-Khulaifi.
“Both drivers had a very good practice,” admitted Larsson before setting about preparing the race boats for Price and Tourre to use this weekend.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Timetable of events - Thursday, December 6th
09.45-10.45 Free practice on race course
12.30-13.15 1st Time Trials
14.30-15.15 2nd Time Trials
15.45-16.15 Pole Position Shoot-Out
Timetable of events - Friday, December 7th
10.15-11.00 Free practice on race course
14.45-15.00 Opening parade lap
15.30-16.30 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2007 UIM F1 World Championship - positions after round 6 of 8:
1. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 85 pts
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 70 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 64 pts
4. Pierre Lundin (S) Comparato Racing 38 pts
5. Scott Gillman (USA) Emirates F1 Team 35 pts
6. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team 28 pts
7. Phillipe Chiappe (F) Atlantic Team 24 pts, etc
2007 Teams’ Championship - positions after round 6 of 8:
1. Emirates F1 Team 114 pts
2. Tamoil F1 Team 95 pts
3. F1 Team Energy 69 pts
4. Comparato Racing 41 pts
5. Qatar Team 35 pts
6. Atlantic Team 31 pts, etc
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).