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DUBAI The fight for the world title in the 2012 X-CAT Series has got even more interesting following Fazza’s win in the third heat of the championships at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) last Thursday. The maximum 400 points in the third heat enabled the brand-new Fazza boat to stand in second overall with 817 points, just eight shy of current leaders Qatar Team (825 points). Mouawad is in third with 750 points, followed by Race Two winners Extreme Marine in fourth with 517 points and the Abu Dhabi Racing Team and Sky Dive Dubai Team sharing fifth position with 296 points apiece. “The fight for the world title is wide open. No one can be assured of having an advantage at this stage of the series as the difference between the top boats is so little,” observed Fazza throttleman Arif Al Zaffain. “We have two more races to go and, as things stand, any of the top boats or even the underdog can come and win a race and things will change once again,” he shrugged. The second heat held in Abu Dhabi last month proved to be Fazza’s undoing as they finished in 12th to add to the 400 points they had after winning the opening round in Dubai. The Qatar Team, who have managed two second place finishes and a third position on Thursday are at the top of the standings, but with some problems on hand following their mishap on water at the Mina Seyahi the previous week. “We have time on our hands and we will do everything possible to prepare a very competitive boat so that we can be genuine challengers for the world title,” promised Qatar Team driver Mohammed Al Nasser. “At this stage of the championships there is no clear leader as most of the boats at the top are within striking distance of each other. The fourth round will be a crucial indicator of what is to follow,” added the Qatari. The surprise package of the season has been the Mouawad combination of Switzerland’s Omar Danial and American Gary Ballough as they nestle in third place overall with 750 points. “The idea is to keep on improving with each race. We have recorded our best position this weekend and we will definitely be eyeing another podium in the fourth race too,” Danial said. “The emphasis from all boats now is to see how they can realistically have a clear look at the world title,” noted Mohammad Hareb from world governing body, UIM. “The next race will be a good indicator to see which of the boats keep the pressure on the crown,” he added. The X-Cat Series will now take a short break till the penultimate heat is held at the DIMC on April 6-7 followed by the fifth and final race on April 12-13.

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