DOHA, Qatar – Friday, November 27, 2009 –It took only 167 career races but nine-time World ChampionGuido Cappellini of Como, Italy won his 60th career victory in the late afternoon sunshine of Doha Bay on the edge of the Arabian Gulf an moved himself up into third place in the 2009 U.I.M. F1 H2O World Championship drivers table at the same time.
“It was an incredible day for us and now more importantly we have moved two places forward in the championship with 100 more points to chase before the last race in Sharjah,” stated Guido. “Now we need to continue to push but in a good way if we are going to win this 10th championship that I have been chasing for the last four years.”
The 11th round of the championship started out a bit irregular with three drivers jumping before the start lights went off forcing a re-start from the dock. World Points leader Jonas Andersson of Team Azerbaijan who was seventh off the dock, along with Team Abu Dhabi teammates Ahmad Al Hameliand Thani Al Qamzi in the fourth and fifth positions all were forced to do a drive thru penalty lap once the race restarted losing positions and forcing their boats to run at the maximum for the 30 minute event.
Jonas never fully recovered finishing seventh on the day picking up four points but losing his lead in the championship with 96 points. The hard charging Al Qamzi came all the way from the back of the pack to finish an unbelievable second place and vaulting into the lead in the drivers championship table with 103 points with five races still left to be run.
“My boat ran so well, I could put it anywhere and it would go in a flash,” said Thani. “The engine was perfect as well and with the combination it was a perfect afternoon all way around.”
Teammate Al Hameli didn’t has as much luck, setting the fast lap of the race with a 48.16 time only to drop out with no points and being classified 13th when it was all over.
Italian Fabio Comparato of the 800 Doctor sponsored boat took a well earned third and his 19th career podium in the process and his second of the season.
French driver Philippe Chiappe was heading for his best finish ever sitting up in the second position until he had two of his propeller blades shatter at the end dropping down to fourth on a gallant effort in the process for the F1 Atlantic Team.
The sensational drive of the afternoon was from first time rookie driver Malcolm Goodman of England who driving as a replacement driver for the injured Andy Elliott of the Qatar Team, started all the way down in 16th position in a Dragon Boat and pushed his way all the way to a fifth place finish in his inaugural F1 event.
Malcolm held off veteran Swedish drivers Pierre Lundin who was sixth, Andersson in seventh, whileFabian Kalsow of Germany took his fifth straight top ten with an eighth.
Italian Marco Gambi of the Singha F1 Team was ninth and rounding out the top ten was Norway’sMarit Stromoy who came up from her 14th starting position to pick up the final point.
A promising day for the World Champion Jay Price had the Qatar Team driver starting second and taking the lead when pole sitter Sami Selio dropped out on the second lap in his Mad Croc sponsored BABA boat came to a stop on the far northeast side of the 1.9 kilometer course.
Price, took the lead only to also come to a halt with engine problems and the hopes of the large Qatari crowd ended in tears when their number on driver came to a stop on the sixth lap finishing once again with no points and his back to back championship dreams going with it as well.
Tomorrow is the second leg of the Sixth Grand Prix of Qatar with qualifying beginning early in the morning with qualifying at 11:15 and the 12th round of the championship beginning at 15:00 local, 13:00 GMT and 07:00 Eastern Standard Time on the East Coast of North America.