Alfredo Amato will be returning to Dubai with relish this weekend for the second round of the UIM XCAT World Powerboating Series.
The Italian topped the podium the last time the Series stopped in Dubai – at the end of 2015 – and will be hoping for a similar result when racing gets underway from April 15-16 at Dubai International Marine Club.
Amato has teamed up with a new driver in Diego Testa in the Carpisa Yamamay boat and while they finished in fifth spot at the opening round of the season in Fujairah last weekend, they’re aiming higher in Dubai.
“After just one day of testing we got the third best time in free practice last weekend, then in the race we gained five positions. This gives us confidence in repeating a good result. We have to work a lot, make no mistakes and also have some luck, which eluded us in Fujairah,” explained Amato.
Asked about the game-plan ahead of this weekend’s race, Amato admitted: “I come from Naples, and our superstition doesn’t allow me to talk out loud about our targets. Anyway, we are reinforcing the team with professionals and technicians, who will join us from this race to increase our performance. Then, we will need a lot of training for the two of us drivers to gel together well.”
The last time the Italian team raced in Dubai, the conditions were far from smooth and calm, with massive waves providing much excitement for spectators but also taking their toll on several of the competing teams.
“We hope that the waves help us on this occasion as well. With rough sea you need good skills and to be brave, and that’s when we get the best results.”
Meanwhile, the Team Australia duo of Brett Luhrmann and Pal Virik Nilsen, who flipped their boat last weekend after a collision with Abu Dhabi Team 5 on the first turn, confirmed they are on track to race this weekend with round-the-clock repairs being done to their boat.
This weekend’s race will then see 14 teams lining up on the start line for the Dubai GP. The new-format race for Emaar Pole Position, which was a great success when introduced for round one in Fujairah, will take place this Friday at 10.30am, followed by the head-to-head Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 3pm, also on Friday.
The main race, the Dubai GP – which is free of charge for the general public – will get underway at 2.30pm on Saturday, 16 April. Fans who are unable to attend the race can catch all the action via live streaming.
Karien is a South African freelance sports journalist and communications / PR consultant.
She has worked as one of three chief writers on the official 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic daily programmes and magazines.