XCAT Series heads for tense finale in Abu Dhabi after dramatic Dubai Grand Prix
XCAT WORLD SERIES HEADS FOR TENSE FINISH IN ABU DHABI AFTER DRAMATIC DUBAI GRAND PRIX
Videx grab spectacular race win; Al-Tayer, Al-Mansoori back on course to give Team Abu Dhabi another world title after day of drama
Abu Dhabi, 21 November, 2015: The 2015 UIM XCAT World Series is guaranteed a tense climax in Abu Dhabi next weekend after the championship was thrown wide open today by a dramatic Dubai Grand Prix.
Rashid Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori, who are trying to give Team Abu Dhabi a second world powerboat crown inside a month, finished third to move within a single point of XDubai’s Al-Zafeen and bin Hendi who were among seven casualties on the day.
The two UAE crews now face a thrilling showdown in next Friday’s final round at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, while Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli in Six also head for the UAE capital with a mathematical chance of being crowned world champions.
With strong winds whipping up the sea to produce some spectacular offshore powerboat action, the Videx crew of Joakim Kumlin and Alfredo Amato mastered the choppy conditions to score an impressive Dubai Grand Prix Victory from T-Bone Station’s Giovanni Carpitella and Luca Fendi in second place.
Finishing third in Team Abu Dhabi 5 after a brilliant early surge into the lead had been frustrated by engine problems, Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori will now return to home waters next weekend hoping to emulate team-mates John Tomlinson and Gary Ballough who captured the UIM Class 1 world title earlier this month.
“We would love to win the world title in Abu Dhabi and we have every chance of doing that now,” said Al Tayer at the finish. “Conditions were very difficult because of the wind and when we took the lead we felt good, but soon we started having engine problems.
“We tried to push but we were losing power and in the end we were very happy to finish third. We will give everything we have in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to try to give the team another world title.”
Making their XCat World Series debut in Team Abu Dhabi 4, Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Qemzi produced a commendable performance to finish sixth.
XDubai’s Al-Zafeen and bin Hendi had led the championship by 26 points before the race, but they retired on the fifth of 16 laps shortly after regaining the lead from Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori who had passed them early on and stayed in front for four laps.
By then Francois Pinelloi and Saul Bubacco in Yachts were already out, and Team Abu Dhabi 5 were soon under pressure and passed by Videx and Six as their sick engine faultered.
Two thirds of the way through the race Six managed to find a way past Videx, but Nicolini and Polli nose-dived soon afterwards, lost an engine for several laps and managed to maintain the lead until they were passed by Videx, Swecat Racing and T-Bone Station.
Videx maintained the advantage to the chequered flag, with Swecat Racing slowing near the finish and losing second place to T-Bone. Swecat Racing stopped within sight of the finish and their demise handed the final podium place to Team Abu Dhabi 5.
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.
2015 Dubai Grand Prix – race result:
2. T-Bone Station
3. Abu Dhabi Team 5
4. Team Saracen Australia
5. Swecat Racing
6. Abu Dhabi Team 4
9. Fujairah Team
10. Marine Investimenti Sud
2015 UIM XCAT WORLD SERIES – CURRENT STANDINGS
1. XDubai 139 pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 138 pts
3. Six 117 pts
4. Swecat Racing 88 pts
5. T-Bone Station 84 pts
6. Team Saracen Australia 67 pts
7. Dubai 66 pts
8. Yachts 61 pts
9. Marine Investimenti Sud 53 pts
10. Lady Spain 53 pts