Victory 3 have one hand on Class 1 Grand Prix of UAE crown

If the second-placed Relekta-Zabo-Isiklar win today’s final race and Victory finish without a point, the title will be theirs.
Victory 3 will win the title even if they do not win Race 2 today but finish in the points. Picture supplied
Victory 3 will win the title even if they do not win Race 2 today but finish in the points. Picture supplied

ABU DHABI // The Victory 3 Team’s Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi yesterday powered their boat to win the opening race of the UIM Class 1 Grand Prix of UAE. Yet, they will have to wait until today to potentially claim the world title.

The result from Race 1 took Victory’s tally to 89 points, but a second-place finish for Christian Zaborowski and Ugur Isik in Relekta-Zabo-Isiklar sent them to 70 points, which means the Norwegian-Turkish duo remain in the running for the title with 20 points still up for grabs.

If they win today’s final race and Victory finish without a point, the title will be theirs.

“The nature of the sport is such it is possible,” Bin Hendi said.

“So we still have a race in hand. But we are hopeful we can do it, even if it means we have to sacrifice speed. It was a good race to win today and be in a good position before the final race. The conditions were very tough, but that is not unusual. We only hope the boat can stay well throughout the race as it did today.”

Victory started in pole position, maintained their lead from the start and kept improving lap after lap to win convincingly.

Guido Cappellini and Mikhail Kitashev in the New Star-Poliform ran in second until they retired on the penultimate lap, which provided Relekta-Zabo-Isiklar the opportunity to claim runner-up points, keeping the seasonal race alive.

Team Abu Dhabi’s American drivers, John Tomlinson and Gary Ballough, finished third.

Today’s action will begin at 11am with qualifying for the second pole position, with Race 2 at 3.30pm.

apassela@thenational.ae

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Published: December 5, 2014 04:00 AM

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