DOHA, Qatar – 28th of March, 2008 – Swedish F2 multi-time champion Jonas Andersson didn’t run many laps on Friday, but the one’s he did he made a big statement as he put together a days best 43.64 second lap around the 5-turn 1.99 kilometer lap to capture his first pole position and will lead the field of 23 drivers from 13 different nations for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Qatar in downtown Doha on the edge of the Arabian Gulf.
The 3rd year driver on the U.I.M. F1 World Championship tour struggled to get his boat running all day but put it all together for the all important days end top-6 shootout in the battle for pole position. A season ago, the 33 year old driver from Fruvi, Sweden finished only twice in 8 race starts but both times was able to reach the podium at the Grand Prix of France and Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
“It was a perfect day for us considering we only were able to run a few laps,” stated Jonas. “Tomorrow will be a race and we will feel a lot of pressure especially at the start, however, we will be ready for the challenge and hopefully our first win on the tour.”
Starting 2nd will be Team Abu Dhabi lead driver Thani Al Qamzi who will be looking for his 4th career win and his 2nd here on the rough open water course here along the cornice in downtown Doha.
In the 3rd position will be defending World Champion Sami Selio of the Woodstock Red Devil Racing Team who did his best job qualifying here in Doha after his 4th place at the first ever race back in 2005.
Italian Guido Cappellini of the Tamoil Team came out and did his best with a 45.11 stating he could have gone quicker but boat traffic spoiled his effort as he came into the top-6 shooutout 2nd quick. He will be looking for his 3rd win on the Doha course after winning in 2005 and 2007.
F1 Qatar Team lead driver Jay Price of New Orleans, Louisiana took his brand new DAC boat out on the water and was just 2/100’s slower than Cappellini and will start 5th hoping to improve on his luck at his home course. His best finish was a 5th last season and will lead a three boat team with rookies Yousef Al Khulifi starting 19th and Ahmed Al Fayyad 20th.
Italian veteran Massimo Roggiero joining long time friend and now teammate Selio in the Woodstock Red Devil Racing effort qualified 6th with a 47.13 second lap. Philippe Dessertenne of France will start 7th in the China CTIC Team boat while Australian driver David Trask in his brand new GTR boat qualified in 8th with a 46.54 second time as he looks for another top-5 finish here in Doha.
Italian Francesco Cantando did a great job getting his new Blaze boat up to 9th before his boat broke apart at the end of the front straight hitting a rouge wave and putting him out of tomorrow’s event.
Rounding out the top-10 qualifiers was French driver Philippe Tourre of the F1 Team Sweden group doing a time of 47.22 in his rebuilt DAC boat looking for his first points of the season.