3 April 2016 – It’s been a busy last few months for the Swecat team who are hoping for big things when the 2016 UIM XCAT World Powerboating Series kicks off in Fujairah on 7-8 April.
Adding to the excitement of starting their second season in the Series is the prospect of putting the newly introduced, environmentally friendly four-stroke engines to the test for the first time.
“Obviously we have spent a lot of time during the offseason planning and project managing the re-rigging of our XCAT with the marvellous new Mercury Racing Verado 400 ROS,” explained Team CEO and Manager, Niklas Sjöö.
“Making any projections for the season feels slightly premature. Like most teams, we mainly hope to have the boat race ready, find the right props and have everything running properly and well balanced in time for the first race.
“Then we will see. Naturally, we hope to be competitive with the revised boat and new engines, and enable our very skilled young drivers to perform at the top of their ability. We at Swecat Racing are all extremely passionate about racing, and look forward to competing with all the strong and professional teams in the XCAT World Series in what promises to be a season that shows a clear direction for the future of offshore powerboat racing,” added Sjöö.
The Swecat team of Erik Stark and Mikael Bengtsson made their XCAT debut in 2015 and managed an impressive fifth position overall in the Series which was won by Victory Team’s Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi. They were third overall in the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run and at the end of their first year, the Swedish team even claimed the Best Team Marketing Award.
Sjöö admitted there are plenty of people to thank for getting the emerging team to the start line in Fujairah this weekend.
“We would like to take the opportunity to thank both Victory Team for great work on reinforcing and preparing our boat, Mercury Racing in the US for their hospitality and support, Mercury Racing in the UAE for first class support with set-up of the new engines, Fujairah Marine Club for hosting us during the testing,” he said.
As for what XCAT fans can expect from the first race of the season, Sjöö added: “I think the crowd, as well as the huge international TV audience, is in for a real treat – a unique opportunity to watch the first live race with the new, incredibly powerful, engines, with a number of teams starting from scratch with a ‘blank slate’, and hopefully some spectacular action. A real wow race!”