Following an engine failure that halted Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori just twenty-four hours earlier, the 2018 World Champions finally got their UIM XCAT World Championship title bid back on track with victory in Race Two at the Fujairah Grand Prix.
‘Yesterday one of the engines had a head gasket failure after just five laps’ said Torrente. ‘In a way I was glad it broke completely in the opening race otherwise we would have continued with a motor that’s down on power the whole time.’
Torrente was quick to heap praise on his Team Abu Dhabi mechanics. ‘Felix and Antonio along with their crew did an amazing job changing over the powerhead’ he said.
‘I went down to the pits last night to take them some food and hang out with them. It’s just so great to repay them with a race win.’
After the twelve boats had left the wet pits at the Fujairah International Marine Club, it took the UIM Race Officials two attempts to get the proceedings under way following a jump start. This didn’t effect Torrente and Al Mansoori who sped off into the lead closely followed by the Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi.
By the race mid-point the lead boat had opened up quite a distance between themselves and their Emirati pursuers.
‘It’s always so good when you do a long lap and get back on the main course still in the lead’ said Torrente.
The Abu Dhabi 5 pairing of Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori were sitting comfortably in third place and thought they had completed a memorable result for Team Abu Dhabi to mark the UAE’s 50th National Day celebrations.
They later slipped to fourth place and second in the standings after a 30-seconds penalty was imposed for a race infringement. This promoted Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini into third position following a fifth-place finish in Race 1.
The Monegasque registered team are now currently placed fourth overall in the championship, just behind the 222 Offshore pairing of Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson who, after an opening round victory could only manage eighth place in Race Two.
Another crew putting in a late-night shift were Team GB. Traces of sand in their fuel tank, as a consequence of the boat being stored in the UAE since it was last race, scuppered any chance of Scott Williams and Martin Campbell getting out in Race 1.
With only a limited time period allowed to conduct the necessary repairs the team were then not allowed to run in qualifying because they were still trying to fix an engine when the clock ran down. Fortunately, they were able to compete in Race 2 and were sitting comfortably in mid pack when Campbell mis judged a turn and were then penalised and forced to do another long lap dropping them down the order.
They know the hull is quick and are now looking forward to the Speed Cat Run for the Fujairah Trophy taking place on Friday afternoon.
UIM XCAT World Championship standings
1. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain/Nadir Bin Hendi 55pts
2. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer/Majed Al Mansoori 52pts
3. 222 Offshore (IT/AU) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson 45pts
4. Six (MC) Tomaso Polli/Matteo Nicolini 44pts
5. Victory Team (UAE) Erik Stark/Mohamed Alyammahi 37pts
6. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansoori 35pts
7. New Star (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev 30pts
8. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/G.S. Di Cola 22pts
9. Pasta Amato (IT) Alfredo Amato/Saul Bubacco 19pts
10. Foresti E Suardi (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Giampaolo Montavoci 14pts
11. Kuwait (KW) Abdullatif Al Omani/Moustafa Al Dashti 14pts
12. Team GB (UK) Scott Williams/Martin Campbell 5pts
13. Swecat Racing (SE) Sebastian Growth/Joakim Kumlin 0pts
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