TEAM ABU DHABI 5 CLAIMS STUNNING POLE POSITION FOR FRIDAY’S FUJAIRAH GRAND PRIX

TEAM ABU DHABI 5 CLAIMS STUNNING POLE POSITION FOR FRIDAY’S FUJAIRAH GRAND PRIX

   Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer fend off three-boat challenge to take pole

                    Team Australia, Victory Team and T-Bone Station complete front row for race

FUJAIRAH (UAE): Thursday, April 7: Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer made the perfect start to their quest for honours in this year’s prestigious UIM XCAT World Series by qualifying in pole position for Friday’s Fujairah Grand Prix on the Gulf of Oman.
Racing in a new three-stage qualifying format similar to that used in Formula One, Al-Mansoori and Al-Tayer initially struggled to find the required speed and were on the verge of being eliminated from the Q1 session. But it all came good for the Emirati duo as qualifying progressed and the pair held off the challenge from Team Australia, Victory Team and T-Bone Station to snatch a superb result.

“Team Abu Dhabi won in Fujairah last year and we wanted to make sure that we made the perfect start to our bid to repeat the win,” said Al-Tayer. “It all fell into place superbly and it gives us a perfect platform to build on tomorrow.”

Rashed Al-Qamzi and Majed Al-Mansoori were one of five crews eliminated during Q1 and Team Abu Dhabi 4 will, therefore, start in the third group of boats for the race on Friday afternoon.

The two Team Abu Dhabi boats lined up later in the afternoon to compete in the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Runs, organised by the Fujairah International Marine Club in conjunction with the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA).

“This is just the start we needed and have been working for,” said a delighted Salem Al-Romaithi assistant general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).

Eleven of the 14 boats have already been fitted with Mercury’s new four-stroke engines and the remaining three boats running the two-stroke power plants were permitted to run with 100kg less ballast to level the playing field. New rules for pole position meant that it followed a similar procedure to Formula 1 racing and took place over three qualifying rounds. The first lasted for 40 minutes and eliminated the slowest five boats.

The remaining nine boats progressed to a 10-minute Q2 session and the slowest five boats were allocated starting gates in the middle of the pack, with the fastest four taking part in a Q3 shoot-out over a single timed lap.

Lady Spain, both Team Abu Dhabi boats, Carpisa Yamamay and Six struggled during the early Q1 stint, but Team Abu Dhabi 5 carded a late lap of 2min 45.868sec to secure their place in Q2. Raheeb did not start and was automatically placed at the rear of the field and Team Abu Dhabi 4, Carpisa Yamamay, Six and Spirit of France were also eliminated.

The rapid-fire Q2 session saw Lady Spain, Gold Coast Australia, Dubai, Fujairah Team and Swecat Racing eliminated and Team Australia, Team Abu Dhabi 5, Victory Team and T-Bone Station reach the four-boat, one lap shoot-out. T-Bone was the only boat running the two-stroke engines.

Team Abu Dhabi 5 was not to be denied and the crew out of the ADIMSC snatched a memorable pole position, with Team Australia, Victory Team and T-Bone Station lining up in second, third and fourth positions.

Brett Luhrmann and Pal-Virik Nilsen had topped the practice times on Wednesday afternoon in Team Australia. Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer had been an impressive third behind Victory Teami.

Team Abu Dhabi is sponsored by Etihad Airways and runs under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the ADIMSC.

Further practice and the Fujairah Grand Prix take centre stage on Friday (April 8), with the race commencing at 3.30pm.

2016 Fujairah Grand Prix – Emaar Pole Position result (unofficial):
1. Team Abu Dhabi 5
2. Team Australia
3. Victory Team
4. T-Bone Station
5. Swecat Racing
6. Fujairah Team
7. Dubai
8. Gold Coast Australia
9. Lady Spain
10. Spirit of France
11. Six
12. Carpisa Yamamay
13. Team Abu Dhabi 4
14. Raheeb