This time though he’s competing at the opening round of the 2022 UIM XCat World Championships, the Grand Prix of Fujairah with the Swecat Racing Team. During the five years he raced with them he helped them secure fourth place in both the 2016 and 2017 World Championships.
The last-minute opportunity to race for the Swedish team came about due to Konstantin Ustinov facing the recently imposed UIM ban on Russian competitors competing and now three months after the last Grand Prix held in Dubai Stark is physically and mentally ready to get back out on water.
Last year the Swecat entry was plagued with difficulties which stemmed back to the Chinese round of the 2019 XCat World Championships when they were hit by Abu Dhabi 5 and crashed out at high speed. In the impact the carbon fibre hull was cracked and both Mercury engines and all the electrics were submerged. The wreaked boat was then shipped to Dubai for the last round of that year’s series, but with no time to carry out the repairs the hull just sat there.
After being left untouched due to travel restriction throughout 2020, the team then arrived in Fujairah to prepare their entry for the 2021 championship bringing with them a lot of spear parts including updated powerheads, and midsections, digital throttles, and even new race seats. When they started to test though they quickly discovered that the foam inside the bag tanks had turned to fine powder which got into the fuel filter, fuel pumps and stopped the engines.
Since then the boat has been thoroughly worked on in the UAE with assistance from Hameed Extreme Marine.
It is like having a big family here with everyone helping us out and this gives us the encouragement we need to fight hard to get out onto the racecourse.
Stark told PRW
Unfortunately, the Victory Team won’t be joining the first round of the championship, but I’m happy to be racing with my old team alongside driver Sebastian Groth. The package that we have will allow us to fight for seventh position but of course we will try our best to achieve a better finish. It will be difficult to defend the same result I achieved in last year’s championship, but I will never stop fighting and believing. In the end I’m extremely glad to be back racing and that’s what truly matters.
Action gets under way at 2022 UIM XCat World Championships, Grand Prix of Fujairah on Friday 4 March with Pole Position taking place at 12:00 local time (GMT + 4). Then Race One starts at 15:00 local on Saturday 5 March. The following day Pole Position is at 11:00 local followed by Race Two four hours later.