Team Westerlund Racing are feeling the heat ahead of the fourth round of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series this weekend in Italy. Despite claiming their first ever XCAT victory at the last race in Dubai in March, the Swedish team are well aware it will be tough to repeat that performance on the flat water in Stresa.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s official practice, Daniel Svenson throttle man for Team Westerlund said: “We have a lot of confidence after winning the last race but a lot of pressure as well. The outcome of the last race was fantastic and now we just hope for a successful run again.” Speaking about the conditions on Lake Maggiore, Svenson added: “For us it’s too flat to be honest. We don’t have that top speed that we would like, so it’s not ideal but we will try to do our best. I think we won’t be right at the top, but we’ll aim for it.” As for which rivals they’ll be looking out for this weekend, Svenson added: “All of them! Some of the teams have new boats so there are a lot of teams that we don’t know much about since the last race in Dubai. But I expect everyone to perform great so I’m looking out for everyone.” Meanwhile, the Dubai-based Victory Team will have three boats in the mix this weekend. Current Series leaders Fazza will certainly be considered favourites, while the Skydive Dubai combination of Rashid Al Tayer and Jay Price will also be up there along with the Victory Team boat piloted by Salem Al Adidi and Talib Al Sayed. Deputy Executive Director of the Victory Team, Nadir Bin Hindi said: “We are all confident, yes. But there are also other teams that are strong. You can’t say what will happen – like in the last race in Dubai where we had a technical problem and dropped from first place to last. All the teams are quite close so it’s a tough Series. It makes everyone work hard because all the engines are the same – limited. All the gear boxes are more or less the same, and the propellers as well so it’s all about how you set the boat up and how the two guys fight in the boat to come in first place. “Because it’s sweet water, the boat tends to sink a lot more than in salt water. Here the weather is cooler than in Dubai and there’s a bit less oxygen but the engine performs better so we’ll see how it goes,” he added. As for the set up in Stresa for the first ever XCAT event outside of the UAE, Bin Hindi reckoned: “Not just me but everyone says it’s a big wow. I hope it’s all a success. The way they’ve set everything up is beautiful. Everyone is working hard with the WPPA to make sure the Series is a success. The way it’s going I think XCAT is going to become the number one class in the UIM.” Action begins with Official Practice on Saturday at 10am Italian time, followed by Emaar Pole Position at 2.30pm and the thrilling head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 5pm. Official Practice will take place once again at 11.20am on Sunday with the main event, the Italian Grand Prix getting underway at 3.30pm.