Abu Dhabi: Team Abu Dhabi stands on the verge of creating history in a sport that it entered for the first time as a host venue in 2009.
The team that runs out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) will take a 16-point lead in the 2015 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship into the final two races of the season at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (November 4-6).
Team Abu Dhabi has entered two boats in the final two races, but victory for the Team Abu Dhabi 6 crew of John Tomlinson and Gary Ballough in the opening sprint on Thursday afternoon would be sufficient to clinch the title, regardless of the outcome of the second race on Friday.Tomlinson and Ballough claimed a pair of stunning victories at the Salerno races in Italy in the summer in their American-built MTi catamaran and arrive at the ADIMSC with a 40-point championship tally.
Teammates, Majid Al Mansouri and Rashid Al Tayer, are equal second with T-Bone Station on 24 points and the defending champions, Victory Team, are fourth with 22.
With 20 points at stake for the win and 15 for second, Tomlinson and Ballough have the outcome of the series firmly in their hands.
Al Mansouri and Al Tayer finished second and third in the first two races in Italy and have an excellent chance of preventing their teammates from taking the title if they can win the opening race outright.
“We have two boats out on the water, a strong line-up and have a superb opportunity to go for gold and the world title this season on home water in the capital,” said Salem Al Rumaithi, assistant director general of the ADIMSC. “This is one of the most important titles in world powerboating and it would be the first time in the team’s history that we have achieved it.
“The fact we have two races running for Class 1 and V1 meant that the organising committee had to revise the path around Lulu Island, as it passed by the Corniche beforehand. The number of boats means it is more appropriate and convenient to return to the older course. We also have a back-up plan if the weather conditions deteriorate.”
Ahead of six Class 1 boats and another seven provisional V1 entries is a demanding course off the Abu Dhabi Breakwater and Lulu Island.
Live racing and pit action, interviews and commentary will be provided by the Yas Sports Channel during race weekend.
Boats will be permitted on to the race course for an official practice session on Wednesday afternoon, before the official race one pole position session for the PP Trophy gets underway at 10.30am on Thursday morning.
The first race of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is scheduled to go live at 3.30pm.
Further free practice is scheduled in the timetable for 30 minutes from 10.30am on Friday morning and pole position for race two takes centre stage at 11.00am.
The second race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix draws a curtain on the year’s Class 1 racing and H20 Racing’s tenure as the series promoter from 3.30pm.
Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).