The new Team Abu Dhabi combination of the UAE's Rashed al Tayer and Italy's Giovanni Carpitella were third quickest in testing for the Swedish Grand Prix in Uddevalla.
Fast start for Abu Dhabi powerboat duo
UDDEVALLA, SWEDEN // The new Team Abu Dhabi combination of the UAE's Rashed al Tayer and Italy's Giovanni Carpitella were third quickest in testing for the Swedish Grand Prix in Uddevalla yesterday. The pair, with Abu Dhabi's Al Tayer as driver, recorded a time of 2mins 7.98secs in testing for round three of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship today, which will the first of two races being staged in the Swedish resort this weekend.
The Fazza 3 crew of Arif al Zafeen and Nader bin Hendi, the Dubai-born pair who have won each of the four races staged so far in the 2010 campaign, were second fastest, but they caused concern during the timed testing period when they appeared to lose their way and headed well off course before being brought to a halt by race officials. It was an error that cost them over 30 minutes of on-course testing leaving little time to make inroads on the fastest lap set by the scarlet V8-powered Welmax.
Talib el Sayed and Abdullah al Mehairbi, the Emirati, of Skydive Dubai - the boat formerly known as Fazza 1 - produced a best of the day 2min 29.50 secs. "We'll give it our best to finish on the podium this weekend," said El Sayed. "Abdullah and I race together in X-Cats so we know a lot about each other's racing style and hopefully we can use that to our benefit." In the Welmax boat, Norwegians Kolbjorn Selmer and Jorn Tandberg set the fastest time in free practice yesterday, averaging 260.70kmph, which was enough to see off the challenge of fellow Norwegian Christian Zaborowski and Brazil's Paul Gaiser in Relekta.
They then stormed to victory in the pre-event Aspen Speed Run in Uddevalla. The Aspen Speed Run event gives the crews competing in the World Championship a chance to put their equipment to the test over a 1km stretch. Welmax left the rest trailing with two identical times of 13.81secs to take the title from Relekta, with Bin Hendi and Al Zafeen in third with Fazza 3 While the performance of the Welmax team will boost the confidence of the Norwegians ahead of today's opening race, it will also have been cause for concern for Bin Hendi and Al Zafeen.
"We know just how good their boat is so we're not surprised with their performance," said throttleman Bin Hendi after setting a best practice time of 2mins, 25.03secs. "The Welmax V8s are strong and have good torque but we're more than happy with the package we've got. "We should have done better in testing but these are the times during the race weekend where you can afford to try out new things before the race itself."