AUG Cruel late battery issue robs Team Abu Dhabi of runner-up spot in XCAT race on Lake Maggiore
UIM Necko Endurance Race, Augustów, Poland
CRUEL LATE BATTERY ISSUE ROBS TEAM ABU DHABI OF RUNNERS-UP SPOT
IN SECOND SIX-HOUR ENDURANCE RACE ON AUGUSTÓW’S NECKO LAKE
· Team Nollet 1 powered by New Star Racing Team snatches race two victory in Poland
AUGUSTÓW (POLAND): Sunday, July 8: Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani and Rashed Al-Qemzi and Italian driver Tullio Abbate bounced back from Saturday’s disappointment and looked to be heading for an excellent second overall in the second six-hour race of the Double 6 Hours of Augustów – the Necko Endurance race – in north-eastern Poland on Sunday.
But a cruel battery issue robbed the team of a finish with just five minutes of the race remaining. They were still classified second in terms of laps run, but boats need to pass the chequered flag to score maximum UIM World Endurance Championship points, although race officials informed team members that points would be awarded for sixth place as the boat had completed over 90% of the race distance.
The team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) led the race on occasions and then shadowed the Russian-French team in Nollet powered by New Star 1, spearheaded by three-time UIM F1 H2O World Champion Philippe Chiappe. Team Abu Dhabi completed only 10 laps less than the race-winning Chiappe and his French team-mates Peter and Nelson Morin and the Russian F2 driver Konstantin Ustinov.
The Medovarus Racing Team looked set to follow up Saturday’s race one victory with the final place on the podium, but they lost valuable laps in the last hour, stopped with 24 minutes to run and fell behind the eventual third-placed Russian crew in Nollet powered by New Star 20 and the Touax Racing Team in fourth overall. Xtrem Racing closed in on the stricken boat as well with minutes remaining, but the Medovarus team managed to get going to conserve fifth place. All four boats moved up in the points’ standings when Team Abu Dhabi failed to reach the chequered flag.
The JW Lepsk team pipped Phoenix Racing and the Arion Racing Team to S3 class success after a tight tussle.
Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council 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 Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC. The racing team runs under the umbrella of the ADIMSC, board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi and team manager Guido Cappellini.
A good start was imperative for Team Abu Dhabi in the second of the weekend’s six-hour endurance races that started at 11.00hrs local time on Necko Lake and was scheduled to finish at 17.00hrs. Six boats again lined up in the S2 class and a further six in S3.
The opening handful of laps were too close to call and Medovarus 74 headed Team Abu Dhabi and the two Nollet boats through the first four tours of the circuit. Team Abu Dhabi soon snatched the lead, however, and had completed 24 laps by the 24-minute mark and was running marginally in front of Medovarus 74 and Nollet 1.
Nollet 1 gained the lead over the next handful of laps and the French crew and Team Abu Dhabi began to edge slightly away from their rivals. But Team Abu Dhabi was back in the lead on the 50-minute mark, albeit running on the same lap as Nollet 1 and one ahead of Medovarus 74.
Nollet 1 regained the initiative, however, and were running three laps ahead of Nollet 20, Medovarus 74 and Team Abu Dhabi after 1hr 20min of the race. Twenty minutes later and Team Abu Dhabi climbed back into an outright second place, a mere one lap behind the leaders.
The race began to develop into a fascinating tussle and, with 2hrs 22min on the clock, Nollet 1 led by two laps from Medovarus and three laps from Team Abu Dhabi. Nollet 20 dropped time and was running five behind the Emirati DAC in fourth place. The leading trio held station and the gap remained the same as the race approached the half-way mark.
But Team Abu Dhabi climbed to second overall soon afterwards and trailed Nollet 1 by just two laps after 3hrs 13min. Medovarus 74 slipped to third, a further eight laps behind, and Touax Racing Team, Nollet 20 and Xtrem Racing filled the minor positions.
Approaching the four-hour mark, Nollet 1 maintained a two-lap lead over Team Abu Dhabi, but Medovarus 74 had lost touch with the leaders and was running 16 laps behind.
Team Abu Dhabi kept the pressure on right through the latter part of the race and a mere three laps separated the leading two boats after Nollet 1 had run 275 laps after 5hrs 11min. Medovarus 74 was 19 laps adrift with 49 minutes remaining, but ceded third position to Nollet 20 soon afterwards and slipped close to the clutches of Touax Pegase Racing Team after stopping with 24 minutes to go. But they managed to get going again to conserve fifth place behind the leading quartet.
But there was late drama for Team Abu Dhabi and a cruel battery issue robbed the team of a second-placed finish with just five minutes of the six hours still to run. With the team having completed over 90% of the race, race officials told team members that points would be awarded for sixth position.
Augustów Necko Endurance - race 2 result (unofficial @ 17.17hrs):
1. Team Nollet powered by New Star 1 320 laps
2. Team Abu Dhabi 6 310 laps – DNF (points for 6th place)
3. Team Nollet powered by New Star 20 300 laps
4. Touax Pegase Racing Team 8 297 laps
5. Medovarus Racing Team 74 278 laps
6. Xtrem Racing 26 274 laps
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.