Price Leads Cinderella 1-2 Qatar Team Finish in Doha!
05.03.2011: Qatar Team drivers Jay Price and Alex Carella couldn't have dreamed up a better conclusion as the American driver hounded defending World Champion Sami Selio of Finland for 29 of the 35 laps and slid past him with less than six laps to go, to capture his
Qatar Team drivers Jay Price and Alex Carella couldn't have dreamed up a better conclusion as the American driver hounded defending World Champion Sami Selio of Finland for 29 of the 35 laps and slid past him with less than six laps to go, to capture his second straight win at his team's home Grand Prix and his 10th of his career at the opening round of the 2011 UIM F1 H2O World Championship on Doha Bay in Qatar.
Selio, who's propeller shaft failed, took off from the pole position and managed to stay in front of Price by a margin of one to two seconds until he got “the shaft” down in turn three and came to an immediate stop ending his day in tears while the crowd in the tens of thousands broke out in cheers knowing their hero's from the Qatar organization were going to finish first and second on the day and a great start to the start of the ten month long season.
“We hounded Sami all day and were never going to give up,” said Jay. “True, bad luck for Sami but racing works that way, sometimes it's your day and today with my teams hard preparation Alex and I came home on the podium together. It couldn't have been any better.”
For the young Carella, it was a satisfying afternoon finishing 6.62 seconds behind his teammate while holding off third place finisher Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team who reached the podium in Doha for the second time in the last three seasons.
“I am happy with what we did today,” said Alex. “The Qatar Team has some new personnel and we are working well as a team and enjoying our company already which is great. I can't wait to get to Portugal and push for a victory with my new team.”
For the Mad Croc Team driver Sami couldn't believe his bad luck, “I was coming into the third corner with less than six laps to run and my suddenly stopped and I didn't know why,” said the Helsinki driver. “When we pulled the boat out of the water the propeller and the shaft it is attached to was gone. Now we head to Portimao and I hope I can win there for the first time in my career.”
Taking a fine fourth and making a giant impact is rookie Shaun Torrente driving the Peters & May sponsored DAC for Team Sweden to a fourth and fifth place finish two seconds in front of his teammate Jonas Andersson who won this race back in 2008. For the two-time North American champion, he was pushing for a podium finish in his very first race when his propeller broke with 15 laps to go settling for fourth 16.20 seconds behind his fellow American.
Jonas was satisfied with a fifth while Italian Davide Padovan gave the Mad Croc Team their only points of of the day with a fine sixth place in his first race as Selio's teammate. Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al Qamzi was seventh bringing the only points to a very disappointed group when young driver Ahmad Al Hameli who qualified second was forced to start last when his starter failed on the parade lap and moved to the end of the field of drivers at the start. A mechanical problem took him out 20 laps into the 35 lap event.
Marit Stromoy of Norway gave the Team Nautica group their first points of the season with a fine eighth place finish in an unfamiliar BABA hull rented to her by German Fabian Kalsow for the weekend. Ninth was an unsatisfied Italian Francesco Cantando of the Singha Team who has had bad luck in Doha reaching the podium only once in nine races.
Portugal's Duarte Benavente completed the top ten picking up the final point in his 99th career start for the F1 Atlantic Team and heading home to the next stop on the UIM F1 H2O World Championship tour on the weekend of the 22nd of May in Portimao and the Grand Prix of Portugal.
This weekend belonged to the Qatar Team with Jay and Alex taking an exciting one-two in front of the thousands of fans that lined the corniche along downtown Doha on the edge of the Persian Gulf. The attention of the racing world now shifts to Europe and one of the most anticipated Grand Prix's of the year in Portimao.
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