F1 Sami Selio maintains title dream with Abu Dhabi win
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Friday, December 7th, round 7 of 8
For immediate release
Friday, December 7th, 2007
QATAR’S JAY PRICE TAKES SEVENTH PLACE IN ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Finland’s Sami Selio maintains title dream with Abu Dhabi GP win
Cappellini edges towards 10th title with second; Al-Qamzi’s dream over
ABU DHABI (UAE): The Qatar F1 Team’s Jay Price moved up from 11th on the grid to take seventh overall and four championship points in an action-packed Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, round seven of the 2007 UIM F1 World Championship, on Friday afternoon.
The race was won by Finland’s Sami Selio, who led from start to finish at the helm of his Mercury-engined BaBa to maintain his slender hope of clinching a maiden world title in Sharjah next Friday afternoon. The Finn was shadowed to the finish by championship leader Guido Cappellini, who takes a 16-point lead to the final round of the championship, as he bids to clinch a 10th world title in 18 years of racing.
Sweden’s Jonas Andersson completed the podium finishers, but there was disappointment for Thani Al-Qamzi on his home Grand Prix. The Emirati retired on lap 15, trails Cappellini by 30 points and can no longer win the world title. Price’s Qatar team mate Phillipe Tourre withdrew on lap 24.
“Jay was always up against it today, starting from 11th place and having to run the spare engine we were forced to fit on Thursday afternoon,” said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. “He did not have the top speed today, but we got to the finish and scored some points. Phillipe had mechanical problems and we will make sure we get to the bottom of those before the final race in Sharjah.”
Price and Tourre faced an uphill battle to make the podium after starting the 50-lap race from 11th and 24th positions on the 25-boat grid, once American Sean Torrente was forced to miss the start with engine problems.
Pole-setter Selio and championship rivals Cappellini and Al-Qamzi headed the pack into the first turn and it was Selio who headed the field from Capellini, Al-Hameli, Al-Qamzi and Andersson after lap one, with Price up to 10th and Tourre in 24th. There were no changes at the top of the leaderboard by lap three, but Tourre moved up to 23rd place for the Qatar Team.
Selio maintained a 3.79s lead over his Italian rival by lap seven, as Price held 10th position and Tourre disposed of a couple of backmarkers to move up to 22nd. There were no dramas among the leaders until Thani Al-Qamzi lost fourth place on lap 15. Selio duly began to edge away from Cappellini and was 16.64s ahead of the Italian after lap 22, with Al-Hameli, Andersson, Pierre Lundin, Francesco Cantando and David Trask making progress up the leaderboard.
Price was making headway through the traffic and had risen to eighth position and into the points by the 22nd lap and Tourre was up to 20th overall. The pace was fast and furious and Selio held a 15.96s overall lead at the half-way point of the race at 25 laps, from Cappellini, Andersson, Lundin, Cantando, Trask and seventh-placed Price. Al-Hameli slipped back to 12th position before retiring and Tourre was forced out.
There were no yellow flags and no serious incidents as the race progressed, with mechanical problems being the sole reason for driver retirements. By lap 35, Selio had an 11-second lead over Cappellini, with Andersson, Lundin, Cantando, David Trask and Price in contention.
Fifteen of the 25 starters were still running, as the teams headed into the final 15 laps of the race. Massimo Roggiero and Phillipe Chiappe joined the list of retirements and Mansoor Al-Mansoori capped a miserable weekend for the Emirates F1 Team by joining team mates Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli in retirement.
As the race entered the final 10 laps, Selio began to edge slightly further away from Cappellini and, with five laps remaining, the Finn was 15.38s ahead and on course to ensure that the world title would not be decided until the final round in Sharjah next Saturday. He duly kept his composure over the closing tours to take a memorable win and Price shadowed Trask to the finish to claim four championship points for seventh overall. He also retained sixth place in the World Championship.
Jonas Andersson had set the pace in the second and final practice session on Friday morning, the Swede posting a time of 51.98s. Roggiero and Al-Qamzi followed in his wake but, such is the competitiveness of Formula One racing, Price was down in eighth place for the Qatar Team, despite being just 0.90s behind Andersson. Tourre struggled in 21st place on his Qatar Team debut with a time of 58.21s.
2007 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – results (unofficial):
1. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 1st overall
2. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 @11.79s
3. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden @ 13.62s
4. Pierre Lundin (S) Comparato Racing @ 38.42s
5. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Team @ 46.29s
6. David Trask (AUS) XPV Racing @ 49.65s
7. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team @ 53.98s
8. Stanislav Kourtenovsky (RUS) F1 Team Energy 1 lap behind
9. Andy Elliott (GB) ACE Racing 1 lap behind
10. Ugis Gross (LTV) Tamoil F1 1 lap behind
2007 UIM F1 World Championship - positions after round 7 of 8:
1. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 100 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 84 pts
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 70 pts
4. Pierre Lundin (S) Comparato Racing 47 pts
5. Scott Gillman (USA) Emirates F1 Team 35 pts
6. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team 32 pts
7. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 24 pts
7. Phillipe Chiappe (F) Atlantic Team 24 pts
9. David Trask (AUS) XPV Racing 19 pts
10. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Team 18 pts, etc
2007 Teams’ Championship - positions after round 7 of 8:
1. Emirates F1 Team 114 pts
2. Tamoil F1 Team 111 pts
3. F1 Team Energy 92 pts
4. Comparato Racing 50 pts
5. Qatar Team 39 pts
6. F1 Team Sweden 33 pts
7. Atlantic Team 31 pts
8. XPV Racing 29 pts, etc
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