UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series final race gets underway at DIMC this weekend. Mouawad throttleman, Gary Ballough, admits he and partner Omar Danial will need a little luck on their side when they take to the water.
Currently lying in second spot in the overall Series, the pair are just 211 points behind leaders Fazza (Mohammed Al Marri and Arif Al Zaffain) and so, still in with a shot at taking the title.
'We have to finish way up front – first, second or third and have and have the other team that’s almost equal with us on points do just a little worse, but we intend to give it our best,' said Ballough at DIMC Mina Seyahi this morning.
'We want to beat them. But it’s kind of hard to do that,' he added, pointing out that finishing the race unscathed was more of a top priority. 'We just don’t want to break. We want to finish the Championship without a failure. We have been fortunate enough to do that so far, which is a huge thing in racing. You have to be really lucky. As much preparation and as much money as you’ll ever spend, you still have to have luck. We just want to be fortunate enough to not break and let the cards fall where they do.'
Mouawad have indeed been one of the most consistent teams in the Series, something Ballough attributes to sponsors who have invested every resource to maintain the best equipment. 'You can’t show up with B equipment when you’re racing against A equipment and A drivers and A throttlemen. All the best guys in the world are here,' he said.
The American will be hoping for some rough conditions during this weekend’s racing, better suited to their larger boat. 'This is a wonderful venue and the past races here in Dubai have shown that it can be flat on the inside and bumpy on the outside which is great because if your boat runs a little better in one place and my boat runs a bit better in another, it just evens the playing field and that will make it more interesting.'
As for what the Dubai crowds can expect from this weekend’s spectacle, Ballough added: 'I hope it excites them. It does something for us when we look over and see the crowd enjoying the race.
'Perhaps they can get a bit closer to the drivers and come over and chat to us – we’re very approachable and maybe they can support their favourite team. We hope that they notice all the nationalities that are on the boats and all the different characters that are here racing. We want to bring something back to them.'
For those interested in attending the event, the first official practice will take place this Thursday at 2.30pm with another practice at 9am on Friday. This will be followed by the race for Emaar Pole Position at 10.15am while the thrilling one-on-one Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run will take place at 3pm on Friday. There will be another official practice at 11.30am on Saturday and the main race, the Dubai Grand Prix, will get underway at 2.30pm on Saturday.
In between racing there are also plenty of other activities on offer to keep the whole family entertained with Skydive Dubai and Flyboard exhibitions and a dedicated kids’ area. There is also a kids’ competition with a number of iPad minis up for grabs. Details are available on the XCAT Racing Facebook page.
Organisers have announced that entry to the event will be free to the general public.
Xcat Racing website
Danial & Ballough - UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series 2013 - WPPA