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5 April 2016, Fujairah – This weekend will be all about the acceleration, according to defending UIM XCAT World Powerboating Series champions Victory Team.

The pair of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi are looking forward to taking the sport to another level when the new Mercury four-stroke engines make their debut at the opening round of the Series in Fujairah from April 7-8.

2015 UIM   World Powerboat Championship GRAND PRIX OF DUBAI UAE - 19th to 21th March 2015 © Raffaello Bastiani / WPPAAnd according to team manager Ragesh Elayadeth, more than the increased speed, the new engines’ acceleration capability is what will make things interesting.

“We haven’t tested much. We did a shake down yesterday. And we had to do some minor modifications which we did yesterday. We are optimistic as always,” he said in Fujairah today.

“It’s a new engine – it’s a torque engine so everyone is the same in this matter. No-one has any advantage so let’s see.

“These are very powerful engines, very reliable and economically it’s good for the teams and environmentally it’s more friendly. So we will have better performance than last year. It’s good for the teams and good for the sport.

“Yes, they’re faster but won’t reach top speeds on a tight course so it’s more about the acceleration. It is much better than the previous engines so it’s going to be more interesting.

Victory Team 2“The drivers have been busy with preparing the boat and doing some basic homework in the last two days. They like the boat and they’re happy. They’re really looking forward to the opening race,” he added.

Elayadeth explained that any bad memories of last year’s season-opening race in Fujairah, when one of their engines caught fire – ruling them out of contention – are unlikely to resurface this weekend.

“The past is past. We’re looking ahead to the next race. Whatever happened in the last race doesn’t bother us. We’ve done our homework. We are here to win the race so hopefully we’ll win it,” he explained with confidence.

11 of the 14 boats have been fitted with the new four-stroke engines for this weekend’s race, which takes place at Fujairah International Marine Club, where entry for the general public is free of charge.

2015 UIM   World Powerboat Championship GRAND PRIX OF FUJAIRAH UAE - 25th to 27th February 2015 © Raffaello Bastiani / WPPAUnder the parity rule, those boats participating with two- stroke engines will be allowed to race with 100kg less ballast than those using four-stroke engines to level the playing field.

The first official practice takes place at 1pm on Wednesday while the revised format race for Pole Position gets underway at 10.30am on Thursday. This will be followed by the exhilarating head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 3pm the same day. The main race – the Fujairah GP – then takes place at 3.30pm on Friday.

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