Sail-World.com : Sami Selio grabs Grand Prix of China pole position
Sami Selio grabs Grand Prix of China pole position
Defending World Champion Sami Selio of the Woodstock Red Devil Racing Team set a blistering pace of over 175.84 kph around the five turn 1.580 kilometer course on Lake Shenzhen to take pole position for tomorrow's Ninth Grand Prix of China along the edge of the South China Sea.
The driver from Helsinki, Finland now is determined to finish what he has started after two weeks ago leading and failing to finish the race in Liuzhou, China greatly hurting his dream for back to back world titles.
'Today, we had the good luck and everything fell together for us,' stated Selio. 'Now we will focus all our attention on winning for the first time this season and hopefully still have a sliver of a chance to take another title. But, believe me we will need help this time around if we are going to get this mission accomplished.'
Starting next to him in the second position will be another driver who has suffered nothing but frustration this season in Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al Qamzi who has done everything he can to put a stamp on being a legitimate candidate for a world championship, but who has unbelievably failed to gain even one point this season.
'We are still learning how to setup and drive this new DAC boat that we received just recently,' said Thani. 'Now I am happy with my boat and have a different strategy for tomorrow's event and think we can get either a win or reach the podium. This is our goal.'
In the third position is Qatar Team driver Jay Price as he gets set to begin another journey as he takes another step towards he hopes will be his first world title. His qualifying with a 34.5 second lap gave the driver from New Orleans, Louisiana his best qualifying performance is his 20 race U.I.M. F1 World Championship career as the veteran looks to reach the podium and continue to rack up more valuable points.
Jay's consistency has placed him a solid 30 points clear of second place driver Jonas Andersson who will start next to him in the fourth position off the dock with a 35.08 second lap. The 33 year-old driver of the F1 Team Sweden effort needs to win in the worst way or at least have Price drop out of the event in order for him to have a solid shot at the title with just three races to go in the calendar.
Francesco Cantando of Italy will start his best place off the dock this season in 5th racing the Singha Team boat after doing a 35.55 second lap while Team Abu Dhabi fellow drive Ahmad Al Hameli will start sixth after missing his attempt to run in the final 'shootout' session of two solo laps after a mechanical problem kept him in the paddock.
Seventh will be another Swedish driver in Pierre Lundin of the CTIC China Team with a 35.57 lap. Italian Fabio Comparato will start eighth going for his 3rd straight podium in his 800 Doctor BABA boat.
Ninth will be the Russian driver Stanislav Kourtsenovsky in the Tamoil F1 DAC as the driver from St. Petersburg looks for his first ever podium finish. Rounding out the top-10 qualifiers is French driver Philippe Chiappe of the Atlantic Team who recorded a 36.63 fast time as he also chases his first ever podium.
Third place driver in the World Championship David Trask from Australia had a terrible afternoon as he ended up switching boats settling for 17th place on the grid and at the same time now will have to come charging up from the back of the grid to have any hope of reaching the podium and his slipping chances of getting a first world title at the same time.
Italian Ivan Brigada is filling in for last years winner here in Shenzhen Guido Cappellini who was red carded at the last event and will have to sit out this weekend.
All together 21 drivers from four different continents are here for the 1500 local (0800 GMT) start of the 9th Grand Prix of China. It should be something special.
by Steve Michael Reporting
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3:17 PM Sat 25 Oct 2008 GMT
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