Team Victory ousted by Abu Dhabi in dramatic XCAT debut

Team Victory’s winning streak came to an abrupt end in the first race of the UIM XCAT World Series in Fujairah GP, reports Richard Carr.

Victory go out in flames

Starting the first race of the season in pole, another team Victory success looked set after the first lap when they opened up a healthy gap ahead of T-bone Station.

Racing in their Fazza boat, crew Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi looked on course to claim the win until the seventh lap when an engine fire put pay to their chances.

“We don’t know what happened. In the seventh lap we heard an explosion and we were out of the race and obviously very disappointed and very sad but we’re looking forward to the next race,” explained Bin Hendi.

Meanwhile, team Abu Dhabi had been on fire too (metaphorically speaking) moving from fifth to third in the first lap.

Rough Fujairah sea claims victims

With Fazza out of action, T-bone were on course to claim a maiden series victory, but Fujairah’s rough seas had the final say, with the team cruelly losing transmission on the penultimate lap.

With the Fazza boat and T-bone out of the way, it opened the door for Abu Dhabi to record their first-ever XCAT victory on debut.

“The plan was to get a good start and that went very well for us,” said Al Tayer, of team Abu Dhabi. “I saved my engines because it was a very long race and then I pushed a little bit… I saw Fazza pushed too much and broke an engine or something, and also Giovanni (Carpitella) – I pushed him and eventually they broke too and we continued.”

The next race will take place in Dubai later this month.

About Richard Carr

Richard Carr 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.