XCAT Team Abu Dhabi and XDubai set for showdown in Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, round 6 – November 25-27, 2015


Dubai claims Pole Position for crucial Abu Dhabi title showdown
Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run victory falls to T-Bone Station

ABU DHABI (UAE): Thursday, November 26: The stage is set for a gripping finale to the 2015 UIM XCAT World Series tomorrow (Friday) after pole position qualifying and the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run off the Abu Dhabi Breakwater on Thursday.

XDubai’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi head into Friday afternoon’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a slender five-point lead in the series over Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori. The home pairing will be hoping to deliver another world title to the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) to add to the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship triumph earned by John Tomlinson and Gary Ballough earlier this month.

The two Team Abu Dhabi boats will start Friday afternoon’s race from fourth and fifth positions, with XCAT newcomers, Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Qamzi, qualifying in fifth place behind their more experienced team-mates. Pole position fell to Dubai’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali in the dying minutes of a dramatic 90-minute qualifying session. They deprived T-Bone Station’s Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson of top spot with a final lap of 2min 27.711sec. X-Dubai qualified in third.

“Calm water conditions were not ideal for us and our set-up for the pole position,” said fourth-placed Faleh Al-Mansoori. “This definitely gave a slight advantage to T-Bone Station and Dubai and that showed in the qualifying times. But we are well placed in fourth and have X-Dubai in our sights for the start of the race.”

Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli are still in with a chance of putting a spanner in the two-pronged UAE challenge for XCAT title honours and qualified the Six boat in ninth place.

They also edged their second round Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run against Team Abu Dhabi 5 to give the initiative to XDubai in the series standings. Team Abu Dhabi 4 also missed out on a quarterfinal place after losing out to XDubai in their second round heat. The two Abu Dhabi boats had beaten Gold Coast Australia and Fujairah Team in their respective first round drag heats.

XDubai reached the final at the expense of Six and faced T-Bone Station, after T-Bone had beaten Dubai in the semi-final. Six lined up with Dubai in the third-placed race and the local crew edged a tight contest, but there was no stopping T-Bone Station in the final and they made a better start against XDubai to claim maximum bonus points for winning the Speed Cat Run.

With the left engine issue resolved overnight, Abu Dhabi 5 carded the opening lap time of 2min 32.73sec in Pole Position to set the marker for the rest of the field. Team-mates, Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Qamzi, were also into a competitive pace early in the session and topped the leader board after a quarter of the qualifying stint, with Abu Dhabi 5 slipping to fifth place behind Abu Dhabi 4, Dubai, T-Bone Station and Lady Spain.

In calm waters and warm sunshine, the American duo of Jay Price and Shaun Torrente continued to settle into the groove in Lady Spain, but there was no sign of XDubai on the race course; the Dubai team mechanics were working frantically to resolve an ongoing engine issue in the dry pits to enable Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi to record a qualifying lap time.

Dubai claimed provisional pole position after 40 minutes of the session and that was the incentive for Team Abu Dhabi 5 to return to race action and regain third place, as XDubai took to the water for the first time and slotted into sixth place.

T-Bone Station were in fine form and leapt to the top of the qualifying leader board with a lap of 2in 28.128sec heading into the final 30 minutes and XDubai improved markedly soon afterwards and moved ahead of the two Team Abu Dhabi boats and into second. XDubai continued its momentum into the closing minutes and snatched provisional pole position with a stunning lap of 2min 28.083sec to pip T-Bone Station.

But, there was to be further drama as the XDubai hull returned to the pits. T-Bone Station benefited from smooth waters to regain top spot with a lap of 2min 27.804sec heading into the remaining eight minutes. Abu Dhabi 5 moved ahead of their team-mates into fourth and Dubai’s Al-Adidi and Al-Ali saved their best until last and a flying lap of 2min 27.771sec deprived T-Bone Station of pole position as the chequered flag was raised.

Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as official carrier and sponsor. The team 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.

Tomorrow (Friday), teams will be permitted to carry out final checks and adjustments to their boat set-ups during a one-hour practice session from 10.00hrs. A water show to entertain spectators then precedes the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, scheduled for 15.30hrs.

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Pole Position result:
1. Dubai 2min 27.771sec
2. T-Bone Station 2min 27.804sec
3. XDubai 2min 28.083sec
4. Abu Dhabi Team 5 2min 29.741sec
5. Abu Dhabi Team 4 2min 29.950sec
6. Lady Spain 2min 30.160sec
7. Marine Investimenti Sud 2min 31.405sec
8. Yacht s 2min 32.642sec
9. Six 2min 33.616sec
10. Swecat Racing 2min 35.355sec, etc

2015 UIM XCAT WORLD SERIES – current standings
1. XDubai 148 pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 143 pts
3. Six 126 pts, etc

Timetable of events – Friday, November 27
10.00-11.00 Official practice
14.45-15.25 Water show
15.30 onwards 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: 26/11/2015

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