Team Abu Dhabi star grabs second successive Grand Prix victory as Al Qemzi secures another podium finish
San Nazzaro, Italy 24th September, 2022: Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente extended his lead in the 2022 UIM F1H2O World Championship today with a commanding victory in an incident-packed Grand Prix of Regione Emilia Romagna in Italy.
Torrente produced a flawless performance over the 1,971m Po River circuit in San Nazzaro to follow up his opening round success in France, wining with 10.1 secs to spare from Sweden’s defending world champion, Jonas Andersson.
Making it a near perfect day for Team Abu Dhabi, Thani Al Qemzi took the third podium place
to retain second spot in the championship standings, 13 points behind Torrente. Finn Alec Weckstrom, France’s Peter Morin and Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen completed the top six.
After their 1-2 triumph in France, Team Abu Dhabi now look almost unbeatable in their bid to secure a fifth successive F1H2O team title.
Torrente was left at the start as a succession of boats roared past him, but the 2018 and 2019 world champion made a dramatic recovery, powering his way past Selio and the rest into the lead on the first lap.
It seemed that the pattern for the race was being set, as the American driver resisted attempts by Selio to close the gap, before a series of incidents brought two re-starts and left a succession of Grand Prix casualties.
First, Portugal’s Duarte Benavente retired on the 14th of 45 laps with mechanical problems. Ten laps later Selio, who dropped out when leading in France, exited again after damaging the front of his boat.
Norway’s Marit Stromoy, forced to change her engine overnight after qualifying problems, went out immediately afterwards when her boat overturned.
Torrente calmly retained his lead after the first yellow flag, while Al Qemzi, sensing his opportunity, climbed from fifth into second place before Italian Alberto Comparato flipped his boat to force another halt.
Untroubled by the second re-start, Torrente gradually stretched his lead while Al Qemzi, who initially lost two places, moved up to third after France’s former world champion, Philippe Chiappe, went out.
After his tenth career Grand Prix Victory, Torrente will look to add to his tally again in tomorrow afternoon’s Grand Prix of Italy.
Firstly, he and the other drivers must negotiate another three-phase qualifying session in the morning to determine the crucial starting order for the third round of championship, which finishes in Sharjah in December.
2022 UIM F1H2O World Championship leading positions (provisional):
1. Shaun Torrente (UAE) 40pts
2. Thani Al Qemzi (UAE) 27pts
3. Jonas Andersson (SWE) 22pts
4. Peter Morin (FRA) 19pts
5. Alec Weckstrom (FIN) 18pts
6. Kalle Viippo (FIN) 8pts