ABU DHABI: Team Abu Dhabi will be up against familiar rivals when they seek victory in the new UAE Class-3 Offshore Powerboat Championship in Khor Fakkan on Thursday.
The experienced pairings of Faleh Al-Mansoori with Shaun Torrente in Abu Dhabi 4 and Rashed Al-Tayer alongside Majed Al-Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 expect a highly competitive opening round as part of the Khor Fakkan Marine Festival.
The revival of Class-3 racing in the UAE began earlier this year, with Arif Al-Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi taking Fazza to victory in Abu Dhabi. They will be among the leading contenders in the new championship, which will see further rounds in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Team Abu Dhabi can also expect serious challenges from Sharjah Team’s Konstantin Ustinov and Dmitry Vandyshev, and Scott Williams and Martin Campbell of Team GB. Kuwait’s Bader Al-Dousari and Abdullatif Al-Omani will be aiming to win in Raheeb17.
Three-time F1H2O world champion Torrente is happy to return to Class-3 action.
He said: “I’m looking forward to racing in Khor Fakkan. It’s a new venue for me. It will be a nice course, with about three-quarters of it protected and the rest not protected, making it a nice mix.
“Faleh and I have raced so much together. He knows what I want, and I know what he wants. He’s really done a good job over the years, growing into his role as a driver and being confident and comfortable in the boat.
“His confidence is high now, and he knows that if we do our job well, it will be difficult for anyone to beat us. I love having him in the boat with me.”
Torrente and Al-Mansoori will miss the second Class-3 race on Friday. This will allow the triple world champion to take part in official practice on Khalid Lagoon for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of this year’s F1H2O world championship.