C1 Team Abu Dhabi claims first ever UIM Class 1 World Championship title


Victory 3’s Al-Zafeen, Bin Hendi relinquish world title despite final race win

Abu Dhabi, 6 November, 2015: Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson rewrote the history books today by claiming Team Abu Dhabi’s first ever UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The pair headed into the second 10-lap race of the weekend with an eight-point lead over the Italian duo of Giovanni Carpitella and Luca Formilli Fendi in T-Bone Station.

After taking an early lead they fell behind Victory 3’s Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi when they lost water pressure in one engine and then shadowed the Dubai team to the finish to seal a maiden world title triumph.

It marked a superb conclusion to an exciting weekend of racing hosted by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) and the biggest offshore racing success for Team Abu Dhabi since they entered a team in Class 1 racing in 2010.

Darren Nicholson and Matteo Nicolini in Victory Team 7 finished third. Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashid Al-Tayer and Majid Al-Mansoori started from fifth and managed to pass T-Bone Station early on, before dropping back to their starting position to finish fourth in the world championship.

Al-Zafeen and Bin Hendi held an outside chance of defending their world title and needed to win the race at all costs and hope that problems befell their rivals. They claimed pole position to give themselves the best possible chance and passed the chequered flag with a winning margin of 21.39 seconds. T-Bone Station could not produce the form they showed to win the first race on Thursday and fourth place dropped them to third in the championship standings.

Australian Darren Nicholson and new racing colleague Italy’s Matteo Nicolini qualified third and maintained a consistent pace throughout the race to round off the podium places and confirm an all-UAE top three on the final race of the year.

The Scandinavian pairing of Christian Zaborowski and Niclas Johansson struggled at the rear of the Class 1 field and finished in sixth place in their V8-engined Energima Zabo Relekta after stopping near the end.

Bernico-New Star qualified over 10 seconds faster than its rivals in the V1 category, with Belgian throttleman Nico Bertels and Russian driver Dimitry Vandyshev carding a lap of 4min 56.05sec. But the Italian crew of Antonio and Giuseppe Di Cola, racing in Karepui RG87, came good as the race progressed and reached the chequered flag in first position. Silverline finished a distant second, but Bernico-New Star stopped after four laps.

Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the 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 ADIMSC.

Victory 3 qualified on pole position for the second race with a quickest lap of 4min 15.22sec and narrowly managed to fend off Team Abu Dhabi 6’s challenge. Ballough and Tomlinson needed to start in front of T-Bone Station and their lap of 4min 16.89sec enabled them to do just that. Victory 7 snatched third and pushed T-Bone Station, down to fourth place.

Team Abu Dhabi 6 needed to finish ahead of, or immediately behind, T-Bone Station to win the world title and they started the race well and were involved in a fascinating duel with Victory 3. After four laps, the leading trio were running in the order in which they qualified for the race, but Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Al-Mansoori and Al-Tayer had done their team-mates a huge favour by overtaking T-Bone Station and pushing them down to fifth.

The leading sextet of Class 1 boats held station through lap five, with Abu Dhabi 6 running 7.12 seconds behind Victory 3 and comfortably on course for a maiden world title. T-Bone Station found a way passed Team Abu Dhabi 5 on the next lap, but remained well behind the leading trio and the crew were relying on misfortune to strike Ballough and Tomlinson if they were to wrest the title from Abu Dhabi’s clutches at the 11th hour.

By the start of lap nine, Victory 3’s lead was 11.37 seconds over Team Abu Dhabi and the Dubai crew held on to finish the season in winning style. But the triumph was not enough to prevent Team Abu Dhabi from taking a maiden world title, courtesy of Ballough and Tomlinson who eased their pace over the closing lap to preserve their Lamborghini Scam-powered MTi. Victory 7 passed the chequered flag in third and pole position title winners, T-Bone Station, were fourth.

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race 2 provisional result

1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (ARE)/Nadir bin Hendi (ARE) Victory Team 3 10 laps

2. Gary Ballough (USA)/John Tomlinson (USA) Team Abu Dhabi 6 @21.39sec

3. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Victory Team 7 @29.01sec

4. Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Luca Formilli Fendi (ITA) Fendi Racing T-Bone Station 10 @1min 07sec

5. Majid Al-Mansoori (ARE)/Rashid Al-Tayer (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 5 @1min 48sec

6. Christian Zaborowski (NOR)/Niclas Johansson (SWE) Energima Zabo Relekta 91 L2


2015 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship – final standings

1. Team Abu Dhabi 6 71 pts

2. Victory Team 3 57 pts

3. T-Bone Station 10 57 pts

4. Team Abu Dhabi 5 38 pts

5. Energima Zabo Relekta 91 30 pts

6. Victory Team 7 21 pts

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: 06/11/2015

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