The XDubai team of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi waited until the dying seconds of this morning’s Pole Position session to book top spot in Sunday’s Cascais GP.
In a fiercely contested battle, the defending Series champions overtook current Series leaders Abu Dhabi Team, with a fastest lap time of 2:33.70 with only seconds left in the session. Their decision to go for one final lap paid off with Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi making the most of the wind having died down slightly.
Abu Dhabi Team (Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori) will start Sunday’s race in second spot, having recorded a time of 2:35.46, and the French team Yachts (Francois Pinelli and Saul Bubacco) will start in third after a lap of 2:36.89.
Taking up the all-important final spot in the top gate will be the all Italian line-up of T-Bone Station (Giovanni Carpitella and Marco Pennesi). “The conditions changed a lot. It was getting better but at times the wind increased again so it was tough,” admitted Al Zaffain afterwards. “But I felt that the very last minutes would be the best so we went to play our last chance and that’s when we got the last two seconds off our time that we needed and we got first place. “It’s a very good race track. It’s more like a Formula 1 track.”
Speaking about Sunday’s race, which kicks off at 3pm local time, Al Zaffain added: “I think tomorrow there will be a lot of competition, especially for the drivers and not so much for the throttlemen. “The start will not be easy because I have seen that all the boats are fast. Our concern is to stay as far ahead as possible of number five [Abu Dhabi Team], as they are still leading the championship and we need as many points as possible.”
The Cascais GP takes place on Sunday, 14 June at 3pm. Viewers who aren’t in Portugal can follow all the action via live streaming by following the links on www.xcatracing.com