Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente underlined his assurance to clinch a second successive drivers’ title in the UIM F1H2O World Championship today by establishing the early tone toward the beginning of a tense race weekend in China.
Conveying a thin three-points lead over Sweden’s Jonas Andersson into tomorrow’s (Saturday) Grand Prix of Xiamen, Torrente was easily fastest in the two-hour official practice session with a lap of 55.41 secs on the 2,516m Wuyan Bay circuit.
With Norway’s Marit Stromoy (56.39) and Italian former four-times world champion Alex Carella (56.37) clocking the two next best times, Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qemzi (56.39), lying third in the world title race, was fourth fastest.
While this year’s F1H2O World Championship finishes up in Sharjah in December, improvements in the Grand Prix double header in China in the space of 24 hours could decide the significant issues.
The boats come back to the water at 9.45am tomorrow morning for another practice session before the pole position race at 11am for the Grand Prix of Xiamen to follow at 4pm.
The distraught race programme proceeds with an indistinguishable schedule on Sunday culminating in the Grand Prix of China. Team Abu Dhabi’s Torrente and Al Qemzi, beginning the weekend with eight Grand Prix career victories each, hold a 32 pts lead over Team Sweden in their bid to retain the world team title.
F1H20 leading official practice times
1. Shaun Torrente UAE 55.41 secs
2. Marit Stromoy NOR 56.36
3. Alex Carella ITA 56.37
4. Thani Al Qemzi UAE 56.39
5. Peter Morin FRA 56.43
6. Jonas Andersson SWE 56.74
7. Phillippe Chiappe FRA 56.89
8. Erik Edin SWE 57.20
9. Bartek Marszalek POL 57.39
10. Alberto Comparato ITA 57.91