After one of the most exciting UIM XCAT World Series races to date that even had the race commentator losing his voice, it was last year’s XCAT World Series champions, Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi in XDubai, who prevailed to take top honors in the second round of the XCAT competition in Dubai.
The XDubai team earned the victory in the second round of the 2015 XCAT World Series. All photos courtesy XCAT World Series.
And once again it was the T-Bone Station team of Giovanni Carpitella and Ahmed Al Hamli who left disappointed after leading the race for much of the afternoon. According to an XCAT press release, the T-Bone Station boat had a blistering start to power ahead of XDubai, who started on the pole, only to be called back for a restart after Air Team jumped the gun.
Carpitella and Al Hamli managed to do it a second time though, getting the edge on XDubai to take the lead on the first lap. XDubai then made the decision to complete its obligatory long lap immediately and steadily worked its way back up through the field closing the gap between the teams in first and second that had yet to take their long laps—T-Bone Station and the Abu Dhabi team of Rashid Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori, who won the first round race in Fujairah.
The teams ahead of XDubai took the compulsory detour on the third to last lap with T-Bone Station managing to come out in front of the chasing XDubai with Abu Dhabi relegated to third. In the end, the defending champions proved too strong, maneuvering their way into the lead on the penultimate lap, much to the cheering crowd’s delight.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Dubai Grand Prix.
By that stage the T-Bone Station team had pushed as hard as possible and a problem with the fuel feed to one of its engines saw them drop out of contention completely, eventually spluttering across the line in ninth place.
Abu Dhabi took the second spot to maintain its lead at the top of the standings with the Dubai team of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali completing the all-UAE podium. Mouawad (Gary Ballough and Joakim Kumlin) were fourth over the line with Lady Spain (Jay Price and Roberto Lo Piano) in the fifth spot.
“We were pushing like crazy—we wanted to win and that’s how it happened,” said a thrilled Bin Hendi in the release. “We had a problem with the right engine at the start but we were able to keep pushing. We made the decision to take the long lap early and knew we had to work hard, which we did. We were just pushing like crazy the whole way.”
Al Tayer admitted the Abu Dhabi team got their strategy a little wrong. “We should have done the long lap earlier,” he said. “It was a very tough race—all the boats are the same speed so it was very close. We are happy with the points to stay in the lead in the series but there are still six more races to go.”