Team Abu Dhabi’s pursuit of a quadruple world powerboat racing triumph switches to northern Poland this weekend as they look to clinch a first major title of the season.
Reigning Formula 1 individual champion Shaun Torrente, Emiratis Rashed Al Qemzi and Rashed Al Tayer and Italian Tullio Abbate have the upper hand as they head into the decisive round of the World Endurance Championships in Augustów.
Victory in the 24 Hours of Rouen in France two months ago for the crew of Abu Dhabi 35 has put them in pole position for the Necko Endurance, which consists of two six-hour races on Saturday and Sunday.
The all-Emirati line-up of Faleh Al Mansoori, Rashed Al Remeithi, Majed Al Mansoori and Mohamed Al Mehairbi, who took Team Abu Dhabi 36 to third place in Rouen, will also be in the hunt again on the Necko Lake.
The two crews have been spending two days training in San Nazzaro, Italy this week under the guidance of team manager Guido Cappellini and Salem Al Remeithi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, prior to the start of practice on Necko Lake on Friday.
With four powerboat world titles the outright target for the team this season, Torrente tops the UIM F1H2O World Championship standings while Rashed Al Qemzi leads the F2 title race after his recent victory in Lithuania.
Torrente hopes to have the world endurance crown in his possession before heading straight from Poland to Italy to begin his defence of the UIM XCAT World Championship alongside Faleh Al Mansoori the following weekend.
“It’s one step at a time and we have to stay focused on the next race,” said the American who maintained his lead in this year’s F1 title race with second place in Sunday’s Grand Prix of France.
Tony Lewis, is a former British print and BBC broadcast journalist with more than 40 years’ media and PR experience.