ABU DHABI // Jay Price yesterday celebrated his maiden UIM powerboat world championship title with a superb victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the series. The American, racing under the Team Qatar banner, made all the running in the 50-lap race to win ahead of Team Abu Dhabi's Ahmad al Hameli and Thani al Qamzi.
"It was a great feeling to win," said Price, who took his tally to 105 championship points. "The strategy after winning pole was to get away from the rest of the boats and to stay clear in front." Al Hameli drove a brave race even after his cockpit cover came off in the last quarter of the race. His second placed result moved him up to two places in the standings to second, one ahead of the defending champion Sami Selio of Finland who picked up seven points for finishing fifth.
"Now there is a lot at stake for the final race in Sharjah with a close fight for the world championship podium," said al Hameli. "I got off to a good start and the boat stayed really well. I can look forward to another good race next weekend." Al Qamzi was relieved after his first finish from eight races. "I am really pleased. I hope we can reproduce this result in Sharjah or even go one better and win for the home fans," he said.
"I can only take this race and the next as part of my preparation for next year's championship. This result came a bit late for me but I feel finally things are falling in place for me. I am very happy." Australian David Trask finished fourth ahead of Selio, Italian Francesco Cantando, Philippe Chiappe of France. The Swede Jonas Anderson was the most unfortunate when he had to retire with two laps left in the race when he was placed fifth.