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7 April, 2016 – Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori mastered the new Emaar Pole Position format to ensure Abu Dhabi Team 5 will start Friday’s Fujairah GP – the opening round of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series – in top spot.

FUJAIRAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - APRIL 07:  Rashed Suhail Al Tayer and Faleh Khalfan Al Mansoori of Abu Dhabi Team 5  race for pole position during the Fujairah Grand Prix - the first round of the UIM XCAT World Series 2016 where 14 boats are competing. XCAT, short for extreme catamaran, is one of the most challenging and extreme forms of powerboat racing in the world at the Fujairah International Marine Sports Club on April 7, 2016 in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for XCAT)The duo left it to their last lap in the first qualifying session to avoid finishing as one of the bottom five teams, who were knocked out of contention, with the top nine progressing to session two.

They also just made it through the 10-minute second session of qualifying with the fourth fastest time – and only four boats progressing to the final round.

But a penalty imposed on the quickest two boats for jumping the green flag in the final session (which consisted of just one timed lap) worked in the Abu Dhabi Team’s favour.

The defending Fujairah GP champions will start in first with the Team Australia boat of Brett Luhrmann and Pal Virik Nilsen (who were quickest in both first and second sessions) starting in second spot with Victory Team (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi) third and T-Bone Station (Giovanni Carpitella and Marco Pennesi) in fourth.

FUJAIRAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - APRIL 07:  Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi of Victory Team race for pole position during the Fujairah Grand Prix - the first round of the UIM XCAT World Series 2016 where 14 boats are competing. XCAT, short for extreme catamaran, is one of the most challenging and extreme forms of powerboat racing in the world at the Fujairah International Marine Sports Club on April 7, 2016 in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for XCAT)“We had good conditions for the race today,” said Al Tayer afterwards. “We started with good speed and we pushed hard. Our strategy was to keep the surprise for the last lap in the first session because good players don’t show all their cards from the start.

Al Mansoori added: “It was a very successful strategy. Now we are on the top and what is better than that?”

As for tomorrow’s GP, Al Tayer reckoned: “Fujairah always has different conditions and usually the afternoon has rough water so we must expect anything but our plan is always to drive fast and furious.”

XCAT action continues this afternoon with the head-to-head, drag-race-style Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run set to get underway at 3pm local time. Tomorrow’s Fujairah GP will be contested at 4pm at the Fujairah International Marine Club.

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