Team Abu Dhabi Duo Grab Pole Position to Boost XCAT Title Hopes in Dubai
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori made a significant move in their bid to capture the 2021 UIM XCAT World Championship by securing pole position today for race one in the Dubai Grand Prix.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori – making their move at the Dubai Grand Prix
Al Tayer and Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 will now have the Friday starting advantage over leaders Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi in Dubai Police for the first of the back-to-back Grand Prix races that decide this year’s shortened XCAT championship.
Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi go into the final race weekend of the season leading Abu Dhabi 5 by 13 points, but any thoughts that the title battle was all but over were quickly dispelled during the Grand Prix qualifier off Dubai’s Sunset Beach.
Edging out the Dubai Police crew by a tenth of a second to earn pole position, Al Tayer and Al Mansoori, who were also fastest in the morning official practice session, carry a great deal of momentum into the weekend.
They must aim for a double race victory in Dubai to have any chance of emerging as XCAT world champions, and the stage is set for a dramatic climax to the season following last week’s triple-race date in Fujairah.
“That was just what we needed,” said Al Tayer. “We gave everything, and got the result we wanted. Now all we are thinking about at the moment is to go all out tomorrow to get maximum points. We have all the team behind us and we’re looking forward to the weekend.”
Team-mates Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4, the 2018 XCAT world champions, qualified in fourth place fractionally adrift of Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini in Six.
Torrente, a committed team player and two-times F1H2O world champion, has been giving valuable input into the fine-tuning and preparations of Abu Dhabi 5, and he and Al Mansoori will also be aiming to lift Abu Dhabi 4 into a final podium finish on Saturday.
After setting the third fastest qualifying time, Rosario and Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola in HPI Racing were disqualified for exceeding the permitted two laps.
Organised by Dubai International Marine Club, the Dubai Grand Prix continued with a Thursday afternoon parade of the XCAT boats on the Dubai Water Canal.
Action resumes off Sunset Beach tomorrow (Friday) with official practice starting at 10.00AM, with the opening race roaring to life at 2.30 PM.
Saturday brings official practice at 10.00 AM followed by the pole position battle at 11.30AM and the final Grand Prix race of the season at 3.00 PM.
Dubai Grand Prix pole position results
|1. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer/Majed Al Mansoori||2.30.390|
|2. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain/Nadir Bin Hendi||2.30.490|
|3. Six (MC) Tomaso Polli/Matteo Nicolin||2.31.319|
|4. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansoori||2.31.398|
|5. Team GB (UK) Scott Williams/Martin Campbell||2.34.373|
|6. Victory Team (UAE) Erik Stark/Mohamed Alyammahi||2.34.519|
|7. Foresti E Suardi (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Giampaolo Montavoci||2.34.761|
|8. New Star (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev||2.36.577|
|9. 222 Offshore (IT/AU) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson||2.36.689|
|10. Kuwait (KW) Abdullatif Al Omani/Moustafa Al Dashti||2.43.165|
UIM XCAT World Championship standings
|1. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain/Nadir Bin Hendi||91 Pts|
|2. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer/Majed Al Mansoori||78 Pts|
|3. Six (MC) Tomaso Polli/Matteo Nicolini||74 Pts|
|4. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansoori||57 Pts|
|5. Victory Team (UAE) Erik Stark/Mohamed Alyammahi||52 Pts|
|6. New Star (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev||48 Pts|
|7. 222 Offshore (IT/AU) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson||47 Pts|
|8. Pasta Amato (IT) Alfredo Amato/Saul Bubacco||29 Pts|
|9. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/G.S. Di Cola||23 Pts|
|10. Foresti E Suardi (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Giampaolo Montavoci||22 Pts|