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.
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.
“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.