Arif Al Zaffain and Nader Bin Hendi drove ‘Dubai Police’ to pole position in Stresa this afternoon.
The pairing lead the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship after they claimed back-to-back wins in Fujairah in April and are now in a strong position to extend that lead on Lake Maggiore this weekend.
Stresa Grand Prix of Italy – Qualifying
Team Abu Dhabi 4 and 222 Offshore staked early claims to pole position on Lake Maggiore followed by the Blue Roo – 1.674 seconds behind – Team Abu Dhabi 5, Kuwait, New Star, Venus Bali and Yacht Club Como. HPI 96 was the last of the boats to start their first qualifying session.
Team Abu Dhabi 4 then moved to the top of the standings with a run of 2min 27.255sec, as 222 Offshore trailed by less than a second and the Blue Roo held third place from Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Kuwait at the end of the first session where reaching the correct set-up was crucial.
After a 15-minute break, the all-important final half-hour session would determine pole position.
The important 30-second final stint fired into life and Yacht Club Como laid down the gauntlet with a 2min 32sec tour.
Swecat Racing started well with a run of 2min 29.59sec only for Team Abu Dhabi 4 to snatch provisional pole with a time of 2min 29.54sec.
Yacht Club Como then ran even faster to snatch the lead with a run of 2min 28.661sec and the Blue Roo slotted into second with a tour of 2min 28.9sec.
The Italian’s lead was short lived, however, and Dubai Police stormed to the top with a fastest run of 2min 27.7sec and demoted Team Abu Dhabi 4 to fourth.
The Blue Roo (2min 27.370sec) then moved four-tenths of a second ahead of Dubai Police to snatch the lead with four minutes of the session remaining, only to see Dubai Police regain the advantage on the very next lap with a 2min 27.163sec.
Yacht Club Como held third, Team Abu Dhabi 4 was fourth and Swecat Racing qualified in fifth. Team Abu Dhabi 5 qualified in ninth behind sixth-placed New Star, 222 Offshore qualified in seventh and the HPI Racing Team in eighth.
But Al-Zafeen and Bin Hendi were not to be denied and Dubai Police confirmed pole position with an even quicker lap of 2min 26.962sec in the dying seconds.
Top Photo: Marzia Benincasa
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