Defending world Formula 1 champion stays ahead
Defending World Formula 1 Champion, Jay Price, (pictured) stays at the head of the points table after powering his way to a 7.81 second victory at the Finnish Grand Prix on Saturday – the fourth round of the 2009 series in Lahti.
The event was initially highlighted by a tremendous two boat battle between the two Team Abu Dhabi boats, the leader driven by pole sitting Ahmad Al Hameli. He stayed ahead for the first 21 minutes of the 30 minute event before Price made a remarkable pass on the fifth turning marker and never looked back.
“I was really please with this new boat I raced for the first time this afternoon,” said Jay. “As a matter of fact it was the first time I had ever driven the boat, started second and waited for a move to slide past Ahmad less than ten minute before the finish. This is a well earned victory for the whole Qatar Team and we will use this momentum to carry us to the next race in St. Petersburg, Russia on August 8.”
World Drivers Championship leading point man Thani Al Qamzi was happy with his second placing. He had fought his way up following the first restart.
“We did all we could today and I am more than happy for second,” said Thani. “I’m feeling really bad for my team-mate Ahmad who dropped from second to sixth on the restart missing out on a podium place. Hopefully we can both achieve this in Russia in August.”
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Hometown hero, Finnish driver, Sami Selio, made up more ground on the drivers championship with a fine third placing and his first podium after six attempts at his home Grand Prix since 1998. The Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock driver started third but quickly dropped to fifth only to fight back in the final few moments. He reached the podium picking up 12 points for his third placing and now lies with a fourth place tie with 19 points.
“Yeah, it was a great way to finish and the boat ran great. I was pushed along with the thought of all the thousands of fans along the lake cheering me on,” said the Helsinki driver. “Now we bring momentum for the next few months and head to Russia filled with confidence as we take a shot at another championship.”
Friday’s winner Guido Cappellini struggled throughout in his recently built DAC boat which carried him to victory twenty-four hours earlier. He started on seventh pole moving up three slots later in the race to finish fourth. The eight time champion from Como, Italy, driving for the Zepter Team now sits fourth in the standings with 30 points.
French driver Philippe Chiappe scored his first points of the season with fifth place coming up from the 11th position just ahead of Al Hameli who now sits fifth in the championship with 25 points.
The Fourth Round of the season saw excitement when Italian Marco Gambi blew over in the middle of the pack just 16 seconds into the race. The driver was escaped unharmed, as did Italian Daniele Martignoni who also barrel rolled on the tenth lap. The day’s final incident came in a run for the third position when Swedish driver Pierre Lundin barrel rolled right side up in the fourth turn on the 31st of 37 laps ending his afternoon in the cold waters of the lake.