Team Abu Dhabi 4’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori overtook the Dubai Police crew of Nadir Bin Hendi and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen to seal a convincing victory at the Hangzhou Grand Prix on Saturday.
After a stunning performance in Shanghai last week, the men from the capital duly tied with their Emirati rivals in the UIM XCAT World Championship title race ahead of the second of the Hangzhou races on Sunday morning.
The 222 Offshore crew of Italy’s Giovanni Carpitella and Australia’s Darren Nicholson delivered a solid performance to finish in second position, while Team Australia’s Blue Roo crew of crew of Pal-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten were third.
But it was bad news for Dubai Police who limped home in sixth after seeing a commanding series lead evaporate in the third of six Chinese XCAT races in three successive weekends.
Torrente said: “Abu Dhabi gives us the best boat and this is a fantastic result for us. Now we are tied for the lead in the championship after this race result. Now we have a big chance to win the championship.”
Al-Sayed added: We are feeling very positive about the remaining races. It is important for us to maintain our momentum for the championship. I am very happy with the way the team is working but we must continue to push and increase the pressure on our rivals.”
Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 5 lined up in second and fifth positions respectively for the start of the opening 17-lap race but it was a disappointing afternoon for rivals Swecat Racing, who were sidelined before the start due to mechanical issues.
The Abu Dhabi side made a solid start and applied the pressure on Dubai Police from the outset. Torrente and Faleh Al-Mansoori managed to hit the front and were followed through the opening turns by 222 Offshore and the Blue Roo, as Dubai Police slipped to fourth ahead of Team Abu Dhabi 5.
Over the subsequent number of laps there were minor changes to the running order and Team Abu Dhabi 4 continued to lead from 222 Offshore, although the Blue Roo passed Dubai Police to snatch third and Dubai Police then slipped down into sixth.
Team Abu Dhabi 4 held on to claim the win from 222 Offshore and the Blue Roo, but sixth for Dubai Police dented their title challenge.
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