F1 Qatar Grand Prix time trials set for Friday afternoon
2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Qatar Grand Prix – March 29th, round 1 of 9
For immediate release
Thursday, March 27th, 2008
2008 QATAR GRAND PRIX TIME TRIALS AND
SHOOT-OUT SET FOR FRIDAY AFTERNOON
Qatar Team confident of a podium finish in Doha
Latvian Slakteris joins F1 Team Sweden in Qatar
DOHA (Qatar): The first competitive action of the 2008 UIM F1 World Championship season gets underway in Doha Bay on Friday, with a one-hour free practice stint and two crucial time trial sessions setting up the exciting prospect of the first six-boat shoot-out of the new F1 season. Eleven teams have registered this year and a possible 23 boats will line-up at the start of Saturday’s race.
The Qatar Team will be hoping for better fortune this time around. Lead driver Jay Price was one of the most competitive of all the racers in his Mercury-engined BaBa and reached the shoot-out in the first of last November’s two races. But he spectacularly flipped his boat at high-speed at the far turn in windy conditions and the Qatar Team had a race against time to refettle a boat for Jay to use in the race.
Price hopes to have better luck on this occasion, when he comes face to face with the likes of Finland’s Sami Selio, Italian Guido Cappellini and Emirati Thani Al-Qamzi on Doha’s testing F1 course.
The Qatar Team has been busy over the close season ensuring that each driver has the best possible opportunity to succeed. “Jay will use the new Mercury-engined DAC for the first time in this race,” admitted American team engine builder Brendan Power. “He took the new boat out on the water in Doha Bay for the first time on Wednesday and emerged with a huge smile on his face. It accelerates a hell of a lot quicker than the older boat and is around the same weight. He is raring to go now and feeling confident.”
New Qatari team mate Yousef Al-Khulaifi will use the ex-Price BaBa hull this weekend. The boat has been rewired to try and eliminate last year’s niggling electrical problems and Brendan Power admits that the team have also been able to shed a little of the boat’s weight. Ahmed Al-Fayyad, meanwhile, will race the ex-Scott Gillman DAC that has been leased from Team Abu Dhabi for the Qatar Grand Prix.
“I am very proud and very happy to be racing in F1 in my country,” admitted a delighted Al-Khulaifi. “F1 is 100% different to F2000. I will start quietly and do my best. Then, perhaps, I will have a couple of F2 races in Egypt and Jordan before the next F1 race in Portugal.”
“The engines have been back to the United States in the close season for rebuild work, so that we have given ourselves the best chance of success at the start of the year,” added Brendan Power.
Qatar’s F1 team manager Pelle Larsson is also feeling upbeat about the new season: “We have made some detailed preparations and are looking forward to the year immensely. I suppose the goal for the weekend is for Jay to reach the podium and Ahmed and Yousef to gain as much experience of the atmosphere of F1 as possible. These will be their first steps into the sport, so we will not rush things through at this stage.”
A new addition to F1 Team Sweden was announced shortly before the start: Latvian F2000 racer Uvis Slakteris joined forces with Jonas Andersson and Phillipe Tourre to strengthen their bid for success in Doha.
Friday’s action gets underway with the first one-hour timed practice session at 10.30hrs, although the entire F1 fleet will be hoping that the strong blustery wind that was prevalent on Thursday dies down in time for the weekend’s action.
2008 Qatar Grand Prix – starting line-up (unofficial)
Qatar F1 Team Jay Price, Yousef Al-Khulaifi and Ahmed Al-Fayyad
Team Abu Dhabi Thani Al-Qamzi and Ahmad Al-Hameli
Woodstock Red Devil Racing Sami Selio and Massimo Roggiero
XPV Racing Bob Trask and David Trask
China CTIC Team Charente-Maritime Phillipe Dessertenne and Lin Wu Peng
F1 Team Sweden Jonas Andersson, Phillipe Tourre and Uvis Slakteris
Singha Team Francesco Cantando and Marco Gambi
Rainbow Team Valerio Lagianella and Marit Stromoy
800 Doctor Fabio Comparato
Tamoil F1 Team Guido Cappellini and Stanislav Kourtsenovski
Atlantic Team Phillipe Chiappe and Duarte Benevente
Timetable of events
Friday, March 28th
10.30-11.30 Free practice on course
13.00-13.45 First time trials
14.45-15.30 Second time trials
16.00-16.30 F1 Powerboat Shoot-out – Pole Position
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).