The overall series may have already been secured, and the team may have been testing new engines, but the Fazza pair of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi simply couldn’t resist securing the top spot of the podium at the Emirates Airline XCAT World Series GP this weekend in Dubai.
The Fazza team won the final race of the year in Dubai to cap off a perfect XCAT World Series season for the Victory-backed team.
Because the team was testing the soon-to-be-introduced four-stroke engines from Mercury Racing, it had been decided that Fazza would not earn any points for this race—meaning the final showdown was for the remaining positions in the overall 2014 Union Internationale Motonautique Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series.
The Fazza team had to stave off a tough challenge from fellow Victory Team members—Dubai 7 teammates Salem Al Adidi and Jay Price—who had an impressive start from lower down the order to challenge for a top spot straight away but eventually settling for second place.
The impressive fight from Al Adidi and Price saw them secure second place in the overall standings ahead of the T-Bone Station team of Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitalla, who finished sixth in the final race.
Fazza teammates Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi (center) got used to being atop the podium this season.
The Italian Videx team of Alfredo Amato and Marco Pennesi completed the podium in Dubai for its first top-three performance of the season.
“It was very good—especially with trying the new engines this weekend to see if we could complete the race and thank God we did,” bin Hendi said. “This is a new start for these new engines and we are very happy to have won this race here.”
As for the chances of completing a clean sweep of all the races in the 2015 series, bin Hendi reckoned: “We are going to try our best. We always work hard for this so let’s see what happens.”
Price, who is from Louisiana, was thrilled with his team’s performance.
“It started off a little rough on testing and qualifying but we figured out the problems and I think from the Speed Cat Run yesterday we really were running very well,” Price said. “Our biggest concern was the start. Starting in eighth is not a good spot. But we fought through that and probably came out in a good fifth or sixth position in the first lap. We had to really fly the boat to make sure we got the acceleration on the other drivers and we picked them off one by one.
“For me this is the most exciting racing,” he continued. “You don’t just win from the front—you fight from the back and earn every position. I mean we lost control of the boat in the air quite a few times but we couldn’t back off.”
Also celebrating a great performance in Dubai was the Mouawad team of Joakim Kumlin and Gary Ballough (of Florida) who managed a fourth-place finish. Owner and manager Omar Danial was thrilled with the fourth spot (and sixth place overall in the series) after a somewhat troubled season.
The 2015 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series is set to kick off in February with several exciting developments in store, including new venues and the introduction of the new, reliable, environmentally friendly, four-stroke engines.