6 April 2016 – Team Australia couldn’t have asked for a better debut for their brand new boat as they finished quickest in Official Practice on day one of the opening round of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series in Fujairah today.
Brett Luhrmann and Pal Virik Nilsen completed a fastest lap of 2:53.022 to finish ahead of defending Series champions Victory Team (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadi bin Hendi) who recorded a time of 2:54.470. Third fastest was Abu Dhabi Team 5 (Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori) in 2:55.578.
Virik Nilsen is remaining pragmatic however when talking about the weekend ahead. “It’s so early so it’s not a benchmark really. We just have to be calm and do the same job tomorrow and the race day,” he said.
“Of course I’m excited but I’m also realistic. It’s just a free practice so we just have to keep on working and hopefully do the same tomorrow.”
Luhrmann gave credit to the mechanics and team in the background saying: “It was really good. It’s been a long, hard haul.
“We entered the competition for the first time last year and this year we’ve got a new boat and brand new team and the hard work of the team showed in the result now.
“You’re only as good as the guys around you and Pal did a great job and I just followed him round. Our boat is really well set up. The guys in the pits have done a lot of work getting the balance right and the boat itself is really well-built by Victory so we’re just happy all round so far.”
Team Australia will certainly take some confidence into the race for Emaar Pole Position, which gets underway at 10.30am on Thursday. This will be followed by the exhilarating head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 3pm the same day. The main race – the Fujairah GP – then takes place at 4pm on Friday.