Team Abu Dhabi wrapped up their first major powerboat racing title of the season today as Shaun Torrente, Rashed Al Qemzi, Rashed Al Tayer and Italian Tullio Abbate clinched the World Endurance Championships in Augustów, Poland.
This time the honours on the day went to the all-Emirati crew of Majed Al Mansoori, Mohamed Al Mehairbi, Rashed Al Remeithi and Faleh Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 36 who recorded a commanding victory in the second of two back-to-back six-hour races to finish runners up in the series.
But sixth place was enough to ensure American Torrente, Emiratis Al Qemzi and Al Tayer and Italian Tullio in Abu Dhabi 35 secured the world endurance crown following their win 24 hours earlier and success two months ago in the 24 Hours of Rouen in France.
They had looked set to complete the series with a 100% winning record after leading comfortably for more than four hours today before being briefly forced out of the race to make technical modifications.
Having shadowed their team-mates in second place virtually from the start, Abu Dhabi 36 suddenly found themselves with a commanding lead and ultimately cruised to victory by 19 laps from the Navikart Soliodaires French crew of Sebastien Lemoine, Olivier Betin and Stephane Lemoine Russians Konstantin Ustinov and Dimitry Vandyshev and Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko in Nollet 2 were third another five laps behind.
While these are still early days in the season, the result in Poland underlines the prospect of four world powerboat racing titles ending up at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.
Ten-times former F1H20 world champion Guido Cappellini, who recently signed a new long-term contract to guide the fortunes of Team Abu Dhabi until 2025, certainly believes the quadruple is possible.
He has already seen reigning world champion Torrente set the pace in this year’s F1H20 series while Rashed Al Qemzi has taken an immediate lead in the UIM F2 championship.
From Poland Cappellini quickly switches focus to the UIM XCAT World Championship in which Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori begin their title defence in Stresa, Italy next weekend.