Although the team is currently under the gun preparing its second boat, a brand new 48-foot MTI catamaran that cleared customs in time to make it to the race site in Salerno, Itlay, Team Abu Dhabi is showing it’s serious about its quest to win a world title by bringing two boats to the opening round of the Union Interrnationale Motonautique Class 1 World Powerboat Championship this week.
The Abu Dhabi Team ordered a second MTI this year and is working to get it ready for tomorrow’s race. Photo courtesy John Tomlinson
With racing scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, the team has yet to confirm the lineups for each boat, the first of which was delivered for last September’s Class 1 race in Ibiza, Spain. According to veteran throttleman John Tomlinson, the co-owner of TNT Custom Marine in Miami who helped put the team on the podium three times in 2014 and finish fourth overall in the championship standings, the crew has been working all day, and is expecting to be thrashing overnight, to get the second boat ready. Tomlinson, who said it’s going to be down to the wire, sent speedonthewater.com the photos above and in the slideshow below on Tuesday morning.
Check out the slideshow above from the race pits in Salerno, Italy, courtesy of throttleman John Tomlinson.
Team manager Randy Scism, the owner and founder of MTI and a former Class 1 racer, said the boat the team ran in 2014 has been outfitted with Lamborghini SCAM engines for this season, while the second MTI that just arrived from the U.S., is being powered by twin 850-hp Mercury Racing engines. Speedonthewater.com will update this story once the teams are in place. Along with Tomlinson, fellow Floridian Gary Ballough is in Italy—they caught a flight together after Sunday’s Super Boat International race in Marathon, Fla.—and may or not race. He’s part of a strong pool of drivers that includes the homegrown talent of Faleh Al-Mansoori, Majid Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Tayer.
The timetable of events in Salerno begins with practice on the Mediterranean for an hour at 10 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday, followed by the pole position at 11:30 a.m. and the race at 3 p.m. A second pole position session follows on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. and the second of the two Grand Prix of Salerno races will be staged at 2 p.m.