XCAT Team Abu Dhabi's Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori qualify fifth in Fujairah


Fujairah Grand Prix, round 1 – February 25/27


Pole position for Victory Team’s Fazza crew of Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi
Fazza beats Swecat Racing to claim victory in Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run
Victory Team crews fastest in practice; Team Abu Dhabi fourth after first XCAT laps of 2015 season

FUJAIRAH (UAE): Thursday, February 26: Team Abu Dhabi’s Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashid Al-Tayer qualified in fifth position for Friday’s Fujairah Grand Prix and missed out on a semi-final place on a technical infringement in the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run, held in conjunction with the opening round of the 2015 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series in Fujairah on Thursday afternoon.

The all-important pole position qualifying session for Friday’s race took place on Thursday morning. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi were the team to beat in Fazza and the Dubai-based operation claimed pole position with a flying second lap of 2min 28.12sec. They went on to beat the Swedish Swecat Racing duo of Erik Stark and Michael Bengtsson in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run later in the afternoon.

T-Bone Station’s Italian driver Giovanni Carpitella and his Team Abu Dhabi F1 H20 racing team-mate Ahmed Al-Hameli qualified second for Friday’s race in a time of 2min 30.18sec, while Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali of the Dubai team were third. French driver Francois Pinelli teamed up with Saul Bubacco in the Yacht boat to claim fourth position in changeable wind conditions on the Fujairah course.

Fazza and Yacht sailed through to meet in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run on Thursday afternoon and the Dubai boat cruised to a win over Marine Investimenti Sud to meet T-Bone Station in the second quarterfinal. Team Saracen Australia fought out a tight contest with Swecat Racing and the Swedes, Erik Stark and Michael Bengtsson, claimed the win. Mouawad 50 lost out in a tight contest with Gold Coast Australia and Team Abu Dhabi also progressed to the last eight.

Fazza cruised through to the semi-finals at the expense of Yacht and T-Bone Station edged a nail-biting sprint against Dubai to set-up their last-four clash with Fazza. Team Abu Dhabi clashed with Swecat Racing and the Emirati duo reached the last four. Marine Investimenti Sud won a re-run heat against Gold Coast Australia to set up a semi-final duel with Team Abu Dhabi. But the Emirati duo were disqualified for a lane infringement and Swecat Racing took their place.

Fazza lined up with T-Bone Station in the first of the semi-finals and managed to stay in front of their closest rivals for pole position to claim their place in the final. Swecat Racing snatched the second final place at the expense of Marine Investimenti Sud, which lost out to T-Bone Station in the play-off heat for third place. There was no stopping Fazza in the final either and the Dubai crew rounded off a successful afternoon of racing in Fujairah with the Speed Cat Run win.
Teams had been permitted to carry out their first official practice of the new season on Wednesday afternoon. An impressive fourteen boats were registered for the opening round, with Team Abu Dhabi joining the likes of Fazza and the Dubai team, Team Raheeb from Kuwait and a new Gold Coast Australian crew of Tom Barry-Cotter and his Norwegian team-mate Pal-Virik Nilsen.

Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi carded the fastest time in the practice session with a lap of 2min 35.04sec and that was 0.89 seconds quicker than the time set by Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali in a second Victory boat. Cotter and Nilsen claimed the third fastest time and Team Abu Dhabi began the new season well with a best lap of 2min 38.17sec and fourth place in the practice results.

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

The Fujairah Grand Prix takes centre stage from 3.30pm on Friday afternoon and is being organised by the Fujairah International Marine Club in conjunction with the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA).

- 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: 26/02/2015

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