Team Abu Dhabi will need both Thani and Rashed Al-Qemzi and Italian driver Tullio Abbate to be on top form if they are to claim the UIM World Endurance Championship crown at the renowned Double 6 Hours of Augustów – the Necko Endurance race – in northern Poland this weekend (July 6-8).
The team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) has entered the three-man team in a bid to follow on from the second position earned at the Rouen 24-Hour endurance race in May.
A date clash with the UIM XCAT World Championship race in Italy means that neither Shaun Torrente nor Rashed Al-Tayer are available for the Polish race.
Team Abu Dhabi 6, crewed by Thani and Rashed Al-Qemzi, Al-Tayer and Torrente, overcame several niggling technical issues, a costly eight-lap penalty for turn buoy violations and a late scare over fuel levels to finish second overall in the prestigious Rouen endurance race on the River Seine.
Team Nollet by New Star 20, crewed by the all-Russian team of Roman and Dmitry Vandyshev and Andrey Paniushkin, won the Rouen race and are the team to beat this weekend.
The Touax Pegase Racing Team rounded off the podium positions in a Moore hull in Rouen and Team Marine Inshore – Loutz (28) were fourth.
The race is being organised by the Augustowski Klub Sportowy Sparta and has run since 2005 on the nearby Necko Lake. There will be two six-hour races in the time schedule for three boat classes – S1, S2 and S3.
Team Abu Dhabi missed the Polish race in 2017, although two boats were entered in 2016, with Alex Carella, the Emirati duo of Thani Al-Qamzi and Majed Al-Mansoori and Abbate running in Team Abu Dhabi 35 and Rashed Al-Tayer, Mohammed Al-Mehairbi, Rashed Al-Qamzi and Faleh Al-Mansoori lining up in Team Abu Dhabi 36.
Al-Tayer, Al-Mehairbi, Rashed Al-Qamzi and Al-Mansoori claimed a memorable win in the first of the two races on that occasion and finished fifth in race two. Their team-mates had a non-finish and a third place in a race that was won by New Star 20.
Augustów is a small city in the northeast of Poland on an important link road between Warsaw and neighbouring Lithuania.
It is a popular resort town and was recognised as a health and spa resort in 1970, largely because of its close proximity to the race-hosting Necko Lake and the Biale and Rospuda lakes in the Podlaskie Province.
Documentation and scrutineering of the race boats takes place on Thursday and Friday, before the opening ceremony takes centre stage in the nearby amphitheatre from 19.00hrs on Friday evening. Official training will be permitted on the course for three hours, starting at 14.00hrs.
The first of the two six-hour races starts at 09.00hrs on Saturday morning (July 7th) and finishes at 15.00hrs.
Competitors will be permitted a second training session on the lake on Sunday morning between 09.00hrs and 10.00hrs and race two is scheduled to start at 11.00hrs, finishing at 17.00hrs.