If anyone was unsure about Team Abu Dhabi’s ambition to win the UIM Class 1 World title this year, then their declaration to run two boats has certainly signalled their intent, writes former British Champion Richard Carr.
Team Victory the ones to beat
It would be fair to say that Team Victory coasted to victory last year in a rather uninspiring season for the championship, which saw it feature just three venues in total.
Expectations are much greater in 2015 though, with an extended calendar of events and clearly a greater ambition from teams to challenge at the front.
Team Abu Dhabi announced last week that they would run two boats for the forthcoming season which kicks off in Salerno, Italy later this month.
Seats up for grabs
Currently, the team is yet to announce who will line-up in both of their boats, but they have a seriously strong pool of talent to pick from. American racers John Tomlinson and Gary Ballough are in the mix alongside home grown talent Faleh Al Mansoori, Rashed Al Tayer and Majid Al Mansoori.
Team Abu Dhabi manager Randy Scism revealed that the team will run the MTI boat from last season, but with Lamborghini SCAM engines and a new MTI that will be shipped from the USA.
American duo Tomlinson and Ballough were drafted into the team last season to race in Italy and Abu Dhabi and finished on the podium three times to take fourth overall in the championship.
Tomlinson looks a sure pick for the 2015 season has plenty of experience at Class 1 level having won the World the European Championships during his early days in the sport.
Much will be expected if he does take the position following his impressive cameo last season.
About Richard Carr
Richard Carr, of Poole, is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful powerboat racers, who has competed in the sport globally.
He has won numerous domestic and international honours: he became British Class 1 Champion in 1991; he was the winner of the coveted Needles Trophy and he also came second in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in 1992. It was the year the race was controversially competed in the fog and it has been argued for many years that he actually won the race.
He is known in the sport for his aggressive racing character in rough seas and recently raced in the USA for Geico in 2011.
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