Team Abu Dhabi’s defending champion carries five-point lead into title decider as F1H2O series heads for dramatic climax
Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente is ready for an epic battle with Jonas Andersson for the UIM F1H2O World Championship title after the Swede claimed pole position for Saturday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah.
Defending champion Torrente carries a five-point lead over Andersson into the final round of the season and knows he faces a huge fight to retain the F1H2O crown after finishing fifth in today’s six-boat qualifying shoot-out.
In order to snatch away the title, Andersson must earn six more points than Torrente who clinched the championship in Sharjah last season by finishing third.
“I had to go first in the shoot-out and water wasn’t exactly flat, but that was my fault for being sixth in Q2,” said Torrente, who had set his sights on a third pole position of the season.
“The first lap was ok but it was still choppy. The second lap was awesome and I was way ahead of my time on the computer, but I just messed it up a little at the end. So we have a lot of work to do on Saturday. But I won the championship here last year after starting seventh.”
Andersson celebrated jubilantly with his team at the end of the shoot-out, but Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini said earlier in the week that Torrente, crucially, knows what it takes to win the world title, and the American has the chance to prove that in dramatic fashion on Saturday.
France’s three-times world champion Philippe Chiappe was second fastest in the shoot-out ahead of Swede Erik Stark, with Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qemzi qualifying in fourth as he looks to claim third place overall in the championship.
Torrente and Al Qemzi are also in a commanding position to retain their world team title, heading into the final round holding a 28-point advantage over Team Sweden.
Final qualifying results
1. Jonas Andersson Team Sweden 45.26
2. Philippe Chiappe CTIC F1 Shenzhen China 45.31
3. Erik Stark Victory Team 45.45
4. Thani Al Qemzi Team Abu Dhabi 45.47
5. Shaun Torrente Team Abu Dhabi 46.25
6. Sami Selio Sharjah Team 46.47
UIM F1H2O World Championship standings
1. Shaun Torrente 64pts
2. Jonas Andersson 59
3. Marit Stromoy 37
4. Thani Al Qemzi 27
5. Alex Carella 25
6. Peter Morin 23
1. Team Abu Dhabi 91pts
2. Team Sweden 69pts
3. Emirates Racing 51pts
4. CTIC F1 Shenzhen China 38pts