Team Abu Dhabi plan big title drive as XCAT season reaches climax in Dubai

Team Abu Dhabi plan big title drive as XCAT season reaches climax in Dubai

07.12.2021: Torrente says focus is on helping team-mates take the fight to Dubai Police photo Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Shaun Torrente with Technical Manager Talib Al Sayed


Torrente says focus is on helping team-mates take the fight to Dubai Police




photo Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Shaun Torrente with Technical Manager Talib Al Sayed




The battle for the 2021 UIM XCAT World Championship heads for a grand finale in this weekend’s Dubai Grand Prix, with Team Abu Dhabi putting their full weight behind a major title push by Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori.



The Emirati pair in Abu Dhabi 5 trail championship leaders Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi in Dubai Police by 13 points ahead of the back-to-back Grand Prix races on Friday and Saturday which will decide this year’s shortened XCAT series.



While the odds are stacked in favour of Dubai Police following their overall victory in last weekend’s Fujairah Grand Prix, Team Abu Dhabi are working round the clock to give Al Tayer and Al Mansoori an advantage in tomorrow’s (Thursday) crucial pole position showdown.



With their own title hopes disrupted by a first race engine failure in Fujairah, 2018 champions Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 also want a big finish to add to their fightback race victory last Thursday.



“From our point of view, we just need to go out to win races,” said Torrente. “As far as Abu Dhabi Five are concerned, they've been consistent and running well, and they're within striking distance of the lead.




photo    Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori – still in the world title race



“We've been working hard on their boat to try to improve it. Our sole focus has been to put them in a position to get race wins, and take the fight to Dubai police.”



Added Torrente:
“I was proud of the way we fought back in Fujairah to win race two. In the third race, I just didn’t get the start right, so now we've got an uphill battle.”



The first target in Dubai for Abu Dhabi 4 is to close the gap on third-placed Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini in Six (MC), and hope that their team-mates can do the same to pile the pressure on Dubai Police.    



That could set the stage for a dramatic final race of the season on Saturday, with all three championship podium positions hanging in the balance.



Organised by Dubai International Marine Club, the Dubai Grand Prix takes place at Sunset Beach. The XCATS action begins with free practice at 1pm today (Wednesday), with an official practice session starting at 10.30 the following morning.



The tussle for pole position gets under way at 12.00 on Thursday followed by the  Speed Cat Run for the Dubai Trophy at 3pm. The two Grand Prix races on Friday and Saturday have 3pm starts.




photo    Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori – chasing more race wins in Abu Dhabi 4




UIM XCAT World Championship standings


1. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zaffain/Nadir Bin Hendi              91pts   
2. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashed Al Tayer/Majed Al Mansoori         78pts   
3. Six (MC) Tomaso Polli/Matteo Nicolini                     74pts   
4. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansoori            57pts   
5. Victory Team (UAE) Erik Stark/Mohamed Alyammahi             52pts   
6. New Star (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dmitry Vandyshev             48pts   
7. 222 Offshore (IT/AU) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson         47pts
8. Pasta Amato (IT) Alfredo Amato/Saul Bubacco                 29pts   
9. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/G.S. Di Cola        23pts   
10. Foresti E Suardi (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Giampaolo Montavoci        22pts


    
- Tony Lewis, Narayan Marar, Total Communications, photos Team Abu Dhabi

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07.12.2021 / MaP

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