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He’s only ever sat in an XCAT boat for 10 minutes, but by the end of the weekend, Erik Stark will be a fully fledged throttle man in the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series. The 25-year-old from Sweden will replace Daniel Svenson in Team Westerlund Racing for the fifth round of the Series which gets underway in Arona tomorrow. Joining forces with his friend, Joakim Kumlin, Stark explained his main aim is simply to cross the finish line. “I have never driven in a big boat like this before – I am used to driving these small Formula 2 boats so this is new for me,” admitted the man who is currently leading the F2 World Championships. “It’s big and it’s a different driving style. But I hope to take my experience from Formula 2 and use it in XCAT and see how it goes. “The aim is just to finish the race and of course it’s nice to have a good position, but the main thing is to finish,” he added, pointing out that Svenson has returned to his family in Sweden. “Joachim asked me to join him. He has helped me a few times with my team in Formula 2 so he asked and I said ‘of course’. We don’t know yet if I will continue for the next race as well, but maybe I’ll be in China too,” he added. Team Westerlund will be hoping for a better run in the European Grand Prix this weekend. They were one of three boats that failed to finish last weekend’s race in Stresa, but did manage to claim second spot in the head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run. The team have claimed one win already this season – in the third round of action in Dubai in March. Meanwhile, the Mouawad team of Omar Danial and Gary Ballough, who are currently in second spot on the overall Series standings, are looking for another solid performance this weekend to consolidate their top three placing. “The plan is to keep that position and try to improve obviously,” said Danial. “So far we’ve been hanging on and we’re pretty happy to be running with the big boys out there. So we’re trying to find an edge that will keep us up there. “We’ve run into a bit of bad luck in terms of mechanical issues and we had to rush into the races with some set-ups we weren’t that comfortable with, and I think that that has somehow impacted our results in recent races. “But our first priority is always to finish. Because to win you have to obviously finish. We want to keep that on the programme,” added Danial. Racing gets underway in Arona on Saturday with the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 4.30pm (Italian time), while the Emaar Pole Position and main race (the European Grand Prix) will be contested on Sunday at 11.15am and 4.30pm (Italian time) respectively. Fans who cannot make it to Arona can follow all the action live via the link on the website home page.

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