DUBAI POLICE CLOSE TO XCAT CROWN AFTER HALTING TEAM ABU DHABI’S VICTORY CHARGE

Al Tayer, Al Mansoori will fight to the finish as championship reaches climax

The 2021 UIM XCAT World Championship is within touching distance for Dubai Police after they overcame Team Abu Dhabi’s bold challenge for victory in race one of the Dubai Grand Prix today.

Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 made a brave bid to keep their title hopes alive, leading from pole position for half of the 18 laps before the Dubai Police combination of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi powered their way through.

Winning by 26 seconds from Abu Dhabi 5, Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi carry an 18-point lead into Saturday afternoon’s final race of the season, and are poised to be crowned 2021 XCAT world champions barring a dramatic and unforeseen climax.

Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori, the 2018 world champions in Abu Dhabi 4, finished third today to raise hopes that Team Abu Dhabi could claim two of the three final podium positions.

After an impressive performance 24 hours earlier to secure pole position, Al Tayer and Al Mansoori made the ideal start to this year’s penultimate Grand Prix race and appeared to have it under control on a glorious day for elite XCAT powerboat racing.

That was until they went wide into the final turn on the 3.56 nautical mile course, and the Dubai Police crew surged through on the inside to take a decisive lead, which they never looked like conceding over the nine remaining laps.

“Things started well, but they (Dubai Police) used a bigger prop’ today which gave them more speed, and they had a good long lap strategy,” said Al Tayer. “For us now, the aim is to go for pole position tomorrow and then try and win the race. We’ll fight to the finish”

Finishing eighth and ninth on the day respectively, Victory Team’s Erik Stark and Mohamed Alyammah, and the 222 Offshore crew of Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson, both collected 60 secs time penalties for infringements at the start.

Organised by Dubai International Marine Club, the Dubai Grand Prix resumes with a Saturday morning official practice session at 10.00am followed by the pole position battle at 11.30am and the final Grand Prix race of the season starting at 3.00pm.

Dubai Grand Prix Race 1 provisional results

  1. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain/Nadir Bin Hendi 44.58.46
  2. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer/Majed Al Mansoori  45.25.68
  3. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansoori 45.55.67
  4. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/G.S. Di Cola 46.06.83
  5. Six (MC) Tomaso Polli/Matteo Nicolin             46.24.07
  6. New Star (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev 46.40.51
  7. Foresti E Suardi (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Giampaolo Montavoci 46.57.79
  8. Victory Team (UAE) Erik Stark/Mohamed Alyammahi 47.51.78
  9. 222 Offshore (IT/AU) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson 48.73.81
  10. Kuwait (KW) Abdullatif Al Omani/Moustafa Al Dashti + 1 lap

UIM XCAT World Championship standings

  1. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain/Nadir Bin Hendi  126pts
  2. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer/Majed Al Mansoori 108pts
  3. Six (MC) Tomaso Polli/Matteo Nicolini 92pts
  4. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansoori 83pts
  5. New Star (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev 63pts
  6. Victory Team (UAE) Erik Stark/Mohamed Alyammahi 62pts
  7. 222 Offshore (IT/AU) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson 55pts
  8. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/G.S. Di Cola 45pts
  9. Foresti E Suardi (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Giampaolo Montavoci 34pts
  10. Pasta Amato (IT) Alfredo Amato/Saul Bubacco 29pts
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