F1 Sensational Price claims second place for Qatar Team in Sharjah
2007 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Sharjah Grand Prix – December 14th, round 8 of 8
For immediate release
Friday, December 14th, 2007
QATAR TEAM’S JAY PRICE HITS SENSATIONAL
FORM TO TAKE SECOND PLACE IN SHARJAH
Finland’s Samo Selio clinches UIM World F1 title with stunning Sharjah win
SHARJAH (UAE): The Qatar F1 Team’s Jay Price finished a superb second overall in the Sharjah Grand Prix on a tricky course on Khalid Lagoon on Friday afternoon to claim the team’s best result of the season and confirm fifth position in the 2007 UIM F1 Drivers’ Championship.
Finland’s Sami Selio came into the final race of the year needing to win outright and hope that arch Italian rival Guido Cappellini finished lower than seventh. Selio led from the start in his F1 Team Energy boat and, when his Como-based rival suffered terminal canopy problems near the end, the flying Finn was able to celebrate a quite unexpected and deserved first UIM F1 World Championship title. Australian David Trask was third overall and the Emirates F1 team duo of Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmed Al-Hameli were fourth and fifth.
“This is the result we have been waiting for after problems earlier in the season,” said a delighted Price from the Qatar Team. “I just had this great feeling about the race from the start and we have taken the podium position we needed. This result is for the whole team. It was a great way to end the season.”
“This is a superb result for us,” said Qatar F1 team manager Pelle Larsson. “I knew we had the capability of taking a podium finish and this was our day. I am delighted for Jay and all the Qatar Team. This is a reward for their effort and hard work. We had a scare before the warm-up though when the engines wouldn’t start. We had a scary few moments, but this result makes it all worthwhile.”
Price and Tourre began the final race of the year in ideal conditions from sixth and 18th positions on the 22-boat grid. Fabio Comporato loaned his boat to Pierre Lundin and neither Majeed Al-Mansoori nor Lin Wu Peng made the start. Selio headed Cappellini from the pontoon, but the championship leader edged into the lead, only for Italian Fabrizio Bocca to flip his Rainbow Team DAC and force a yellow flag scenario on the second lap.
Drivers were forced to reassemble in grid positions and Selio duly reclaimed his lead, with Trask passing Cappellini into second position after the restart, followed by Massimo Roggiero and Price. The Qatar Team driver was in inspired form and began to challenge Cappellini for third place as the race progressed, with Roggiero already down in fifth position.
The drama intensified, as Cappellini began to slow with technical problems and Price soared into third place behind Selio and Trask. The Italian plummeted to eighth position in a dramatic chain of events that handed the world title initiative to Selio. Roggiero held fourth place from Andersson, A-Hameli, Al-Qamzi and the stricken Italian. By lap 25, Selio led from a rampant Price, with Trask, Al-Hameli, Al-Qamzi and sixth-placed Cappellini. Tourre had been running down in 13th position and had made up five places in the first half of the race before retiring on lap 23.
Phillipe Dessertenne, Roggiero and Bob Trask succumbed to mechanical problems, as Selio extended his lead over Price to 18.19s after lap 30, with David Trask a further 14 seconds adrift. Cappellini had steadied his ship and was running in sixth place, a position that would be good enough to give him the world title.
As Selio’s lead over Price was reduced to 13.05s by lap 35, Cappellini slipped to seventh place behind Phillipe Chiappe. It meant that he had to hold station to win the world title. Another slip would be disastrous for the Como driver, who had seen a virtual 16-point championship lead reduced to nothing.
Selio headed Price through lap 40, although Al-Hameli edged past Trask into third place, from Al-Qamzi and Cappellini who had managed to retake sixth place from Chiappe to set up a thrilling final 10 laps. Only 12 boats were still running out of the 22 starters, but Selio maintained his composure through lap 42 and Chiappe again slipped ahead of Cappellini to keep the nerves jangling in the Tamoil F1 camp. The Italian had terminal canopy problems and Selio’s team mate Stanislav Kourtsenovsky pulled out with 12 laps to go.
By lap 45 the thrilling race was reaching fever pitch as Price shadowed leader Selio and Cappellini began to drop off the radar and a 10th world title dream faded in the setting sun in Khalid Lagoon. Trask retook third place, with Al-Qamzi benefiting from problems that befell Al-Hameli to seize fourth overall.
All Selio needed to do was reach the finish to claim a sensational world title, with Price on course for the Qatar Team’s best finish of the season. Price had reduced Selio’s lead to just 3.56s by lap 48, with the Finn easing his pace to conserve the boat and Trask closing to within six seconds of the Qatar driver in third place.
Selio eventually sealed a sensational win by the margin of 2.41s to claim a first world title, with Price and David Trask filling the podium places. Al-Qamzi and Al-Hameli were fourth and fifth for the Emirates F1 Team, Chiappe was sixth, Lundin finished seventh and Norwegian female racer Marit Stromoy was delighted with a superb eighth place for F1 Team Sweden.
Jay Price had been the fastest of all the drivers in the second and final practice session on Friday morning, the Qatar Team driver posting a table-topping lap of 52.69s in difficult conditions. Trask was over a second behind in 53.74s, while Roggiero, Al-Qamzi and Cappellini trailed the American by over 1.5 seconds. Tourre was down in 20th position with a lap of 59.75s.
The provisional calendar for the 2008 UIM F1 World Championship has now been drawn up by championship officials and Qatar will host the first round of next year’s series in Doha on March 28th-29th.
2007 Sharjah Grand Prix – final positions
1. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 1st overall
2. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team @ 2.41s
3. David Trask (AUS) XPV Racing @ 8.94s
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team @ 21.49s
5. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 1 lap behind
6. Phillipe Chiappe (F) Atlantic Team 1 lap behind
7. Pierre Lundin (S) Comparato Racing 2 laps behind
8. Marit Stromoy (N) F1 Team Sweden 2 laps behind
2007 UIM F1 World Championship - final positions after round 8 of 8:
1. Sami Selio (FIN) F1 Team Energy 104 pts
2. Guido Cappellini (I) Tamoil F1 100 pts
3. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 79 pts
4. Pierre Lundin (S) Comparato Racing 51 pts
5. Jay Price (USA) Qatar Team 47 pts
6. Scott Gillman (USA) Emirates F1 Team 35 pts
7. David Trask (AUS) XPV Racing 31 pts
8. Phillipe Chiappe (F) Atlantic Team 29 pts
9. Jonas Andersson (S) F1 Team Sweden 24 pts
10. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Team 18 pts
10. Ahmed Al Hameli (UAE) Emirates F1 Team 18 pts, etc
2007 Teams’ Championship – final positions after round 8 of 8:
1. Emirates F1 Team 130 pts
2. F1 Team Energy 112 pts
3. Tamoil F1 Team 111 pts
4. Comparato Racing 58 pts
5. Qatar Team 54 pts
6. F1 Team Sweden 36 pts
6. Atlantic Team 36 pts
6. XPV Racing 36 pts
9. Singha F1 Racing 18 pts
10. CTIC China Team 15 pts
10. Rainbow Team 15 pts
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