ABU DHABI // Rashed al Tayer will be hoping for an action replay when the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship gets under way this weekend with the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
Al Tayer, who has taken part in 10 races since making his Class 1 debut in Brazil last season, won the opening race in the capital last year as well as claiming a pair of victories in Uddevalla, Sweden.
And the 32-year old is aiming to be back on top of the podium in his home grand prix, which will take place on a course off Lulu Island.
Al Tayer and his throttleman, John Tomlinson, will be looking to build on the form that team Abu Dhabi showed last season.
The pair will line-up alongside nine rival boats for the first two rounds of the world championship, which take place tomorrow and Friday.
Tomlinson, 48, from Miami, Florida in the United States, has experience on his side, having made his Class 1 racing debut in 1997.
In a race career spanning 24 years, he has earned a staggering 132 race wins and lifted 40 national titles. The American was also the world and European champion in 1997.
The biggest challenge to Team Abu Dhabi is likely to come from a pair of boats with the Qatar Team and Dubai's powerful Victory Team.
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al Thani and Steve Curtis head the Qatar Team in Spirit of Qatar 96 and are joined by Class 1 rookie Ali al Neama and his Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini in Spirit of Qatar 95.
Arif Saif al Zazeen and Nador bin Hendi, the world champions, represent the Victory Team. Others in the line-up have been entered from Italy, the UK, Norway and Austria.