x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Powerboat: Skydive Dubai on pole in Italy Grand Prix

Fazza demoted as Skydive Dubai team takes Italian Grand Prix pole and Qatar Team win Speed Cat Run.

The Skydive Dubai tam boats cut through the water on Lake Maggiore in Italy on Saturday. Simon Palfrader
The Skydive Dubai tam boats cut through the water on Lake Maggiore in Italy on Saturday. Simon Palfrader

Stresa, Italy // The Qatar Team held their nerve to once again emerge as the speed kings of the UIM Skydive Dubai World Series on Lake Maggiore in Italy on Saturday.

Taking on the rest of the field in the head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run which is contested on a straight 1km course, the team of Mohammed Al Nasr and Abdulrahman Al Nasr defeated Fazza in the penultimate round before getting the better of Team Westerlund in the final.

This was the Qatar Team's second successive Speed Cat victory, having topped the podium in the last round of the series in Dubai in March.

Speaking after the final, Al Nasr said: "I am very happy to come first again and especially here in Italy because this is the first time we are racing here in Europe.

"We had a very good start and pushed more and that got us first place," he added, also giving credit to his new co-pilot Al Nasser.

As for the task that lies ahead – the main race of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, Al Nasr said: "We start [Sunday] in position number four so we have a chance to reach the first buoy in the lead which is good.

"All the XCAT boats are now strong so it won't be easy but we hope to finish in the top three. I think the conditions will be good [Sunday] but for me it's better if there is no wind. I prefer the flat water."

Earlier in the day Saturday, there was disappointment for current series leaders Fazza (Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri), who claimed the fastest time in the Emaar Pole Position race, but were later disqualified after failing to pass post-race scrutineering and will now have to start bottom of the pile.

As a result, the Skydive Dubai team of Rashid Al Tayer and Jay Price will start in pole position, with Six in second spot and Mouawad in third.

"It's quite a fun course," said Price. "There are a lot of turns and you really have to set the boat deep and accelerate out of it, but with my new driver we've got a good handle on the boat and we're looking good."

As for where Skydive Dubai's main competition is likely to come from, Price said: "I hope I don't look out for anybody. I hope they're all looking out for us."

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