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13 December 2014, Dubai – The overall Series may have already been secured, and they may have been testing new engines, but the Fazza pair of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi simply couldn’t resist that top step of the podium at the Emirates Airline XCAT GP this afternoon. Because they were testing the soon-to-be-introduced four-stroke engines, it had been decided that Fazza would not earn any points for this race, meaning the final showdown was for the remaining podium places in the overall 2014 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series. But Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi overcame some earlier electrical problems (which saw them starting the race well down after finishing the race for Emaar Pole Position in seventh place) to storm to the front of the pack once again to claim top honours. They had to stave off a tough challenge from fellow Victory Team members, Dubai 7 (Salem Al Adidi and Jay Price) though, who also had an impressive start from lower down the order to challenge for a top spot straight away, going head to head with Fazza at one stage, but eventually settling for second place. The impressive fight from Al Adidi and Price saw them securing second place in the Series overall ahead of the T-Bone Station team of Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitalla who finished sixth in today’s race. Meanwhile, completing the podium for today’s Emirates Airline XCAT GP was the Italian Videx team of Alfredo Amato and Marco Pennesi – their first top-three performance of the season. “It was very good – especially with trying the new engines this weekend to see if we could complete the race and thank God we did,” said Bin Hendi afterwards. “This is a new start for these new engines and we are very happy to have won this race here.” As for the chances of completing a clean sweep of all the races in the 2015 Series, Bin Hendi reckoned: “We are going to try our best. We always work hard for this so let’s see what happens.” Price was, meanwhile, thrilled with his and Al Adidi’s performance. “It started off a little rough on testing and qualifying but we figured out the problems and I think from the Speed Cat Run yesterday we really were running very well. “Our biggest concern was the start. Starting in eighth is not a good spot. But we fought through that and probably came out in a good fifth or sixth position in the first lap. We had to really fly the boat to make sure we got the acceleration on the other drivers and we picked them off one by one. “For me this is the most exciting racing. You don’t just win from the front – you fight from the back and earn every position. This is for me the ultimate in racing – when you really have to battle and push to the limit. I mean we lost control of the boat in the air quite a few times but we couldn’t back off,” added Price. Also celebrating a great performance for the day were the Mouawad team of Joakim Kumlin and Gary Ballough who managed a fourth place finish in today’s Emirates Airline XCAT GP. Owner and manager Omar Danial was thrilled with fourth spot – and sixth overall in the Series after a somewhat-troubled season. Also doing well was one of the wild card entries from Team Abu Dhabi (boat 5 – Rashid Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori), who managed to finish the race in ninth and who, along with boat 4, are looking to join the Series from the start in 2015. The 2015 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series is set to kick off in February next year, back in the UAE, with several exciting developments in store including new venues and the introduction of the new, reliable, environmentally-friendly, four-stroke engines for all boats.

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