Dubai team won eight of last 14
The Emirati pair of Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi will be bidding to extend a formidable UIM Class 1 World Championship record in Norway this weekend, a sequence that has seen Victory Team win eight of the last 14 starts at the course.
The Dubai-born pair enter Round 2 of the four-venue event in pole position to defend their crown after taking maximum points in the season-opening race in Abu Dhabi. The driver and throttleman have 23 career wins to their credit and won both races in the Norwegian Grand Prix at Arendal last year.
They are expected to set the pace in the first practice today but Team Abu Dhabi and the Spirit of Qatar Team could provide Gulf competition by the time the race actions starts tomorrow. Race two is on Sunday.
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor and Steve Curtis will lead the Spirit of Qatar Team's two-boat attack out onto the fjords, looking for the win that has so far eluded them in Class 1 since they joined forces in 2008.
And while they have enjoyed considerable success together, winning six times and lifting both national and world titles racing in America, they have had to settle for six podium finishes from their 12 starts in Class 1.
Team Abu Dhabi are hoping a change in their line-up will bring about a change in their fortune. Majed Al Monsoori, the Emirati, has been promoted to partner wheelman Rashed Al Tayer and they will hope to transfer their partnership from the XCat series to Class 1.
Al Tayer is already a triple race-winner in Class 1 in just his second season, while Al Monsoori has come up through the ranks from jet ski competition and single-seater circuit racing.
The fight for Norwegian supremacy and a win on home waters is between the Welmax and Relekta teams, though the latter are yet to announce their driver combination.
* Compiled by with agency