Victory 3 snatched pole position from Team Abu Dhabi 6 by the narrowest of margins in another gripping pole position session on Tuesday morning.
Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Relekta qualified in third and fourth, with Aquasport yet to take to the water.
Pole Position – Race 1
Victory 3 was first on to the water for the one-hour of qualifying and the Dubai crew opened their account with a lap of 2min 48.155sec before returning to the pontoon.
Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori ran for three circuits with a best time of 2min 54.866sec and then Ballough and Tomlinson ran a three-lap stint with each lap considerably faster than the other.
They thought they had done enough to claim pole with the fastest lap of the race meeting so far – a flying 2min 44.000sec – but Al-Zafeen and Bin Hendi had other ideas and they hit the top spot on their return to the water with an impressive lap of 2min 43.653sec and then bettered that with a pole-winning 2min 43.234sec.
We posted a 2min 44sec, but you never know.
I thought we were in good shape, but we got bumped.
The Victory guys are good.
We are still trying to figure out the boat and get time in it.
We are happy, but it would have been nice to have pole.
It’s pretty close.
Last year, the top three boats were the same.
It’s good racing.
Whoever gets around that first buoy first and comes in first will be in really good shape in the race.
It’s a course that is very difficult to pass on, even if you are 4-5mph faster down the straights, it is very hard to pass.
A minor engine issue kept Blacker and Carpitella off the water until 18 minutes from end of the session, but the Anglo-Italian duo opened their account in Class 1 racing together with an impressive 2min 58.78sec lap.
They bettered that on their fourth tour with 2min 57.298sec, but started the race from fourth position after Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori confirmed third late on with 2min 54.341sec.
Huybens and Cramphorn missed the session to prepare Aquasport for the race.
2016 UIM Class 1 World Championship – Pole Position result (Tuesday):
1. Victory 3 – Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE) – 2min 43.234sec
2. Team Abu Dhabi 6 – Gary Ballough (USA)/John Tomlinson (USA) – 2min 44.000sec
3. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) – 2min 54.341sec
4. Zabo Racing-Relekta 91 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Ian Blacker (GBR)- 2min 57.28sec
5. Aquasport 99 – Nick Huybens (BEL)/Daniel Cramphorn (GBR) – DNS