Team Abu Dhabi in New Pearl Qatar Grand Prix 2012

Team Abu Dhabi in New Pearl Qatar Grand Prix 2012

12.03.2012: Rashid Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori set to represent Team Abu Dhabi in New Pearl Qatar Grand Prix 2012 UIM CLASS ONE WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP

Rashid Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori set to represent Team Abu Dhabi in New Pearl Qatar Grand Prix

Pearl Qatar Grand Prix, March 14-17, 2012

 Team Abu Dhabi faces might of Qatar and Victory Teams at start of new season

 Qatar returns to Class One calendar for first time since 2009


Hot on the heels of the success Ahmed Al-Hameli achieved in last weekend’s 10th Grand Prix of Qatar in the UIM F1 H20 World Championship, Team Abu Dhabi will be in race action again this week for the Pearl Qatar Grand Prix, round one of the 2012 UIM Class One World Powerboat Championship.

The pinnacle of UIM offshore racing has attracted a superb entry for Qatar’s return to the Class One series and Team Abu Dhabi will be represented on the new challenging course, off the Pearl in Qatar, by Rashid Al-Tayer and throttleman Majed Al-Mansoori.

Run under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC), Team Abu Dhabi is a relative newcomer to Class One racing, but both Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori have achieved some excellent results in a short space of time and are confident that they can take podium finishes in the two Qatar races on Thursday and Saturday this week.

They teamed up for the first time last year at the Norwegian Grand Prix in Arendal and for the second time at the Dubai Grand Prix, the final round of the 2011 series, in December. They managed to earn a maiden podium finish together in the second of the Dubai races and Team Abu Dhabi finished fourth in the title race, with American John Tomlinson also representing the team during the course of the year.

Dubai-based Al-Tayer, 33, made his Class One debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2010 and endured an interrupted season last year because of an injury sustained in the USA, but his year included outings in Class One, races in the UIM F-4S category and in other water sport disciplines.

The arguable highlights of his Class One career to date have been two race wins in Sweden and a superb victory in the team’s home Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, but Al-Tayer has considerable experience in Aquabike, XCAT and Jet-ski racing as well.

In his absence last season, Al-Mansoori did team up with last weekend’s Qatar F1 Grand Prix winner Ahmed Al-Hameli to finish a fine second overall in the first of the two Italian Grand Prix races in Cernobbio.

Main competition in this week’s Pearl Qatar Grand Prix is likely to come from the two Spirit of Qatar boats and the Victory Team. Spirit of Qatar 96 will be in the hands of Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and multiple World Champion Steve Curtis, Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and Matteo Nicolini will crew Spirit of Qatar 95 and Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Mohammed Al-Marri will begin the defence of the Dubai team’s world titles in Victory 3. Other boats on the entry list include Fendi Racing, DAC Racing, Welmax Offshore Racing, Zabo Racing and D’Alessio-Scam.

Team Abu Dhabi runs under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) with support from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). Salem Al-Romaithi acts as the head of operations with the team running under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.

Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori will drive their usual Victory-built and Michael Peters-designed catamaran that is powered by a pair of Victory 8.2-litre V12 engines and delivers around 850hp from each engine. The boat uses an SCS gearbox and drop box and Five Axis propellers.

The Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) – the official hosts and organisers of the Pearl Qatar Grand Prix – have changed the more traditional format of Qatar’s Class One race, which returns to the series for the first time since 2009. The races will take place on Thursday and Saturday instead of Friday and Saturday on this occasion.

The timetable of activities gets underway with administration, registration and technical scrutineering on Tuesday afternoon. The first official 90-minute practice of the new season starts at 10.00hrs on the pole position course on Wednesday to enable drivers to prepare for the crucial Edox Pole Position between 15.30-17.00hrs (UAE time) on Wednesday afternoon.

After a second official practice session from 10.00hrs on Thursday morning, race one of the Pearl Qatar Grand Prix starts at 16.00hrs (UAE time). Friday’s new timetable now includes official practice for one hour from 11.00hrs before the boats go on display at the Pearl Marina for four hours in the afternoon.

Teams can benefit from a final 90-minute practice session on Saturday morning and the longer second race of the Pearl Grand Prix fires into life at 16.00hrs (UAE time).

 Khalid Al Saadi, photo F1H20


12.03.2012 / MaP

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