XCAT Pole Position for Dubai 33 as Team Abu Dhabi keeps its powder dry for Friday's race



Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, round 4 – November 16-18


Victory Team claims victory over T-Bone Station in Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run
2016 Abu Dhabi UIM XCAT Grand Prix to start at 3.30pm on Friday afternoon

ABU DHABI (UAE): Thursday, November 17: The Dubai 33 crew of Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali produced a last gasp lap of 2min 18.259sec to claim pole position for Friday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the qualifying session at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater on Thursday afternoon.

Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori had stolen a march on all their rivals in the opening session and looked to have pole sewn up when they ran a lap of 2min 18.817sec in the Q3 shoot-out. They missed out on pole on home waters by just over half a second, but are well placed to push for the outright victory on Friday.

The Italian duo of Alfredo Amato and Diego Testa gave an impressive showing in Carpisa Yamanay to claim third place with a time of 2min 19.062sec. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi continued the development of the Generation 2 four-stroke XCAT and the Dubai-based UIM XCAT World Series champions claimed fourth in the line-up for Friday’s race after they spun out of Q3 in a dramatic twist of events at the final corner of the lap.

“It would have been nice to claim the pole position, but that is racing I guess,” said Team Abu Dhabi’s Al-Mansoori. “We gave it our best shot, but we will start the race in a very strong position and we are determined to take the win.”

The Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run took place in the afternoon and the Victory Team outran Team Abu Dhabi in the semi-final and T-Bone Station in the final to claim the win. The local crew of Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori cruised passed Raheeb in the third-place run-off.

Team Abu Dhabi is sponsored by Etihad Airways and runs under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).

Emaar Pole Position

Gold Coast Australia was patched up after its indiscretion on Tuesday and Jay Price confirmed that the engine issue that prevented Lady Spain from taking to the water for the official practice session on Wednesday afternoon was rectified soon afterwards. Swecat Racing was also repaired, but only 11 boats and 22 team members headed out into the all-important Emaar Pole Position that preceded the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run in the afternoon. Gold Coast Australia and New Star missed out.

Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Dubai 33 were the first two boats out on the water and the host team set the early pace with a lap of 2min 20.256sec in the first 30 minutes. Spirit of France carded the second fastest tour of 2min 20.96sec and Altman Marine’s Lady Spain made an impressive start, after missing Thursday’s practice, with Kumlin and Price stopping the clocks with a best early time of 2min 21.694sec. Victory 3 was also in the mix in sixth but Carpisa Yamanay moved into second position with a time of 2min 20.490sec, as the leading boats returned to the pontoon after Q1.

“That was a good first session for us and we were happy with the set-up and the performance,” said Al-Tayer on the pontoon at the break. “I think it would be difficult to get into the 2min 18sec range, but we will continue with our plan. Carpisa Yamanay is running strongly, but the target for us is the pole.”

Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori were straight out on to the water for Q2, but Carpisa Yamanay was the form boat and a time of 2min 18.919sec – the only sub 2min 19sec time of the day thus far – was sufficient to give the Italian duo the bragging rights. Dubai 33 slotted into second with a time of 2min 19.005sec and Team Abu Dhabi 5 was third with a lap of 2min 19.663sec. Victory 3 made the Q3 shoot-out at the expense of Lady Spain with a lap of 2min 20.161sec to secure fourth place.

Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run

The first round draw for the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run pitched Spirit of France against Carpisa Yamanay in the opener and a potential thriller between Team Abu Dhabi and the pole-winning Dubai 33 in heat two. Spirit of France and Team Abu Dhabi won both tight heats to reach the quarterfinals, before Victory outran Fujairah Team and then the Blue Roo to progress to the last four. The Victory boat was soon joined by T-Bone Station and Raheeb, after T-Bone Station beat New Star and Raheeb outran Lady Spain, despite losing an earlier heat to New Star.

The eagerly awaited semi-final pitched Team Abu Dhabi headlong into a clash with Victory Team and the Dubai boat edged the heat to move into the final. T-Bone Station crushed Raheeb to book their place in the last two, minutes before Team Abu Dhabi outran Raheeb to claim third place. There was no stopping Victory Team in the final, however, and the new Generation 2 boat claimed the points for winning the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run.

Spectators are welcome to attend what promises to be a thrilling finale to the UIM XCAT World Series on Friday. Food, music and entertainment will also be on hand, with the official practice session getting underway at 11am and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix firing into life at 3.30pm.

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Emaar Pole Position times:

1. Dubai 33 – Salem Al-Adidi (UAE)/Eisa Al-Ali (UAE) 2min 18.259sec
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) 2min 18.817sec
3. Carpisa Yamanay 22 –Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Diego Testa (ITA) 2min 19.062sec
4. Victory Team 3 - Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE) DNF
5. Lady Spain 46 – Joakim Kumlin (SWE)/Jay Price (USA) 2min 21.647sec
6. Swecat Racing 2 - Mikael Bengtsson (SWE)/Erik Stark (SWE) 2min 23.960sec
7. Spirit of France (Yacht) 96 - Saul Bubacco (ITA)/Francois Pinelli (FRA) 2min 24.196sec
8. Fujairah Team 20 – Serafino Barlesi (ITA)/Alessandro Barone (ITA) 2min 25.030sec
9. The Blue Roo (Team Australia) 8 – Brett Luhrmann (AUS)/Pal-Virik Nilsen (NOR) 2min 23.108sec
10. T-Bone Station 10 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) 2min 23.424sec
11. Raheeb 17 – Abdullatif Al-Omani (KWT)/Khaled Burabee (KWT) 2min 29.921sec

New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) DNS
Gold Coast Australia 11 – Tom Barry-Cotter (AUS)/Ross Willaton (AUS) DNS

Timetable of events

Friday, November 18
10.00-11.00 Official practice
15.30 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Ends -

For further media information and information about Team Abu Dhabi:
Please contact: Khalid Al Saadi, Media Incharge, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, P.O. Box 45656, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Mobile Telephone: + 971 50 768 6761, E-mail: alsaadi@adimsc.ae.




Date issued: 17/11/2016

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