Dubai: Dubai Police threw open the run for top honours while winning the first of three races at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Shanghai for the UIM XCAT World Championship on Friday.
After taking pole position, Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer and Majid Al Mansouri were pushed down into third behind teammates Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansouri in Abu Dhabi 4 even as former world champions Arif Al Zafein and Nader Bin Hindi powered their way to the top in their Dubai Police boat.
The maximum 35 points enabled Dubai Police to maintain their second place overall with 91 points, while defending champions Torrente and Al Mansouri in Abu Dhabi 4 hung on to the top place with 100 points.
Tied in third place overall are Abu Dhabi 5’s Al Tayer and Al Mansouri along with Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton in their Maritimo with an identical 60 points, while Australia-based 222 Offshore with 41 points are in fifth overall.
Torrente and Al Mansouri are in the best position to defend their world crown having opened the season in Stresa, Italy, with maximum points after winning both races in the second half of July. But Al Zafein and Bin Hindi in their Dubai Police boat have always been among their closest challengers with 56 points to show after Italy.
There are another 70 points on offer in China this weekend with the second grand prix race in Shanghai scheduled to be held on Saturday followed by the third one on Sunday. The boats and crew will then head to Dubai for the final races from December 12-14.
Standings at the end of the first race held at the Shanghai Grand Prix, on Friday: 1. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zafein/Nader Bin Hindi; 2. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansouri; 3. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashid Al Tayer/Majid Al Mansouri; 4. New Star Racing (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dimitry Vandyshev; 5. Kuwait (KWT) Abdul Latif Al Omani/Moustafa Al Dashti; 6. Maritimo (AUS) Tom Barry-Cotter/Ross Willaton; 7. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola; 8. 222 Offshore (IT/AUS) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson; 9. De Mitri (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Marco Di Cosmo; 10. Videx (IT) Alfredo Amato/Saul Bubacco; 11. Swecat Racing (SWE) Erik Stark/Sebastian Groth; 12. Consulbrokers (SPAIN) Andrea Comello/Luca Betti.
Overall standings after Race One of the Shanghai Grand Prix, held on Friday: 1. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente/Faleh Al Mansouri (100pts); 2. Dubai Police (UAE) Arif Al Zafein/Nader Bin Hindi (91); 3. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Rashid Al Tayer/Majid Al Mansouri (60); =3. Maritimo (AUS) Tom Barry-Cotter/Ross Willaton (60); 5. 222 Offshore (IT/AUS) Giovanni Carpitella/Darren Nicholson (41); 6. New Star Racing (RU) Mikhail Kitashev/Dimitry Vandyshev (34); 7. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola/Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola (25); 8. Swecat Racing (SWE) Erik Stark/Sebastian Groth (22); 9. De Mitri (IT) Roberto Lo Piano/Marco Di Cosmo (18); 10. Consulbrokers (SPAIN) Andrea Comello/Luca Betti (15).