Stability Set For Defending Team Champs In 2009!!
ABU DHABI,United Arab Emirates – 2nd of June, 2009 - The long sorting out of a number two driver to defending World Champion Jay Price on the 2008 Team Championship winning Qatar Team has been settled as outstanding English veteran Andy Elliott will link up with the driver whom he has known for over 20 years as they head off for the next round of the 2009 U.I.M. F1 World Championship for power boating at the Grand Prix of Finland in the city of Lahti for the weekend of the 12th and 13th of June.
Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari Head of Formula and Pleasure Boats and Board Member of Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) made the announcement today. This answers the lingering question of whom would replace last years teammate to Jay and the runner-up in the “Rookie of the Year” honors in local Qatar driver Yousef Al Khulaifi who was forced to step down after family issues saw him shift his attention away from the racing circuit at the start of the season in April at the Grand Prix of Portugal.
His sudden departure from the Grand Prix in Portimao saw Italian Leo Bonelli temporarily replace Yousef but a more permanent solution was sought by the QMSF and Elliott was chosen as the teammate for the driver from New Orleans, Louisiana to join the team starting with next weeks race in Lahti.
“I am really excited about having Andy join the organization,” said the World Champion. “I’ve known Andy since were “pups” racing in America back in 1986. The first place I ever met him was at Lake Charles which is a city just down the road from my home town when Mercury Marine brought him over from Europe since he was doing so well in F3 and they saw him as a future star in the sport. I’ve been kidding with him since I found out he was going to join me because now I am once again the “junior member” of the team since Andy is older than me. He’s got a few wins under his belt in F1 and he knows what this sport is all about. He’ll definitely make our team stronger in 2009.”
The driver from Bracknell, England ran in the U.I.M. F1 World Championship circuit back in 1990 for the first time and almost won the title that season. He finished runner-up to another driver from Great Britain the late Jon Hill with the deciding race coming down to the final event of the season in Singapore where he finished second and ended up losing the title by just three points.
Andy’s two victories on the tour came first with his win at the Grand Prix of Malaysia in 1990 followed by the Grand Prix of the Nederland’s in 1991. This year marks his 18th season in F1 H20 competition. He has finished three different times in the top-five in the Drivers Championship and six times in the top-10 for the title. He missed out on the 2008 season as he didn’t race but returned at this season’s opening event in April with his own Ace Racing group.
Elliott has become champion in almost every level he has raced in the sport of power boat racing except the top rung of F1. He was the T2 World Champion from 1981 to 1983 before moving over to F3 taking the titles in 1984, 1987 and 1989.
Andy Elliott will be making his 136th career start in F1 on Friday, 12th of June at the Grand Prix of Finland coming off a fine start of the season after taking a 4th in the second event in Portugal after failing to finish the first race and now sits seventh in the current championship with nine points.
During his career Andy has 135 starts with two wins, one second place, four third’s for seven podiums, 27 failures to finish due to mechanicals and 3 accidents. He has accumulated 249.5 points in his 17 years of racing on the U.I.M. F1 World Championship Tour.