F1 Engine problems thwart Qatar Team effort in Finland
2008 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Lahti - June 7th-8th, round 3 of 9
For immediate release
Saturday, June 7th, 2008
ENGINE PROBLEMS THWART QATAR'S
PRICE IN QUEST FOR POLE POSITION
Qatar's Al-Khulaifi and Al-Fayyad qualify down field for Grand Prix
LAHTI (Finland): The Qatar Team's Jay Price will start Sunday's Grand Prix of Lahti from 18th position on the grid, after a disappointing set of time trials for the Qatar Team on the Lake Vesijärvi course in Finland on Saturday afternoon.
Price currently holds a 15-point lead in the UIM F1 World Championship, but a cruel engine failure three laps into the second time trial prevented him from getting anywhere near the crucial six-boat shoot-out on Lake Vesijärvi to determine Pole Position for Sunday's race. The Qatar Team supremo had been forced to sit out the first time trial after sustaining boat damage in a practice accident on Saturday morning.
Qatar Team rookies Yousef Al-Khulaifi and Ahmed Al-Fayyad are now fully eligible to compete at the highest level of F1 racing and will start the race behind Jay Price in 20th and 21st places, but all three racers will have their work cut out to make the top five on Sunday from such lowly positions on the grid.
The Qatar Team is run under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
"It was not really our day today," said Mohammed Al-Jaidah, head of Formula Racing at the QMSF. "Jay had problems in the morning and then this engine failure in the time trials. Yousef was okay, but Ahmed also had some steering problems and we will need to sort all three boats out tonight to make sure that we are ready for the race."
Guido Cappellini threw down the gauntlet with the fastest time in the first of the two time trials. The Italian ran for eight laps and posted a best lap of 42.86s. Thani Al-Qamzi was second and Australia's David Trask was third. Al-Khulaifi posted the 19th fastest lap of 48.00 seconds during his 16-lap stint, but team mate Al-Fayyad was disqualified after running for 20 laps, where a maximum of 17 runs is apparently permitted.
"Jay was forced to miss the first of the time trials while we repaired the boat after the crash in practice," admitted Qatar's F1 team manager Mohammed Al-Ali. "But we were able to replace Ahmed's engine and Yousef had a good morning out on the water."
Twenty-three boats graced the entry list for Saturday morning's first free practice session and Guido Cappellini set the fastest time at the helm of the Tamoil F1 boat with a potent lap of 41.56s. It was a disappointing morning for the Qatar Team, with Price down in 14th place with a fastest tour of 47.14s during his 14-lap stint, which was brought to an abrupt end after a collision with Australian Bob Trask.
Al-Khulaifi was 20th in his BaBa in 47.47s after running for 45 laps, but Al-Fayyad brought up the rear of the field with a lap of 1m 07.3s after running for only three laps because of an engine failure.
Sunday's competitive action fires into life with a second free practice session from 10.00 hrs and the parade lap starts at 15.00 hrs, before the actual Grand Prix of Lahti gets underway at 15.15 hrs. The Lahti race will mark the fourth ever Grand Prix of its kind in Finland.
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: email@example.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).