Sharjah: A spectacular start-to-finish domination at the Grand Prix of Sharjah ensured Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson earned his 14th career victory and added a maiden UIM F1H2O Teams’ Championship title to the second World Drivers’ Championship he secured at the last race.
The dominant Swede reached the finish of a yellow-flag interrupted race 2.452 seconds clear of the Victory Team’s Erik Stark. He also added the UIM F1H2O Fast Lap Trophy to his haul of awards with a best tour of 49.140 seconds. While Andersson was confirming a clean sweep of all four major titles, Stark finished the season as runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship and Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qamzi rounded off the podium positions and earned his team the runner-up spot in the Teams’ Championship.
Peter Morin of the China CTIC Team finished the final round of the 2023 UIM F1H2O World Championship in fourth and confirmed third in the overall Drivers’ Championship standings. Andersson’s teammate Kalle Viippo was fifth and added valuable points to Team Sweden’s tally, while Marit Stromoy gave the new Mercury four-stroke V8-engined DAC a best finish of the season with sixth.
With Alberto Comparato and Brent Dillard sidelined after a dramatic collision that forced a yellow flag nine laps from the end, Comparato’s teammate Brock Cohen came home in seventh and Briton’s Ben Jelf earned a career-best finish with eighth and collected his first World Championship points. Early season leader Bartek Marszalek was ninth and Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Qamzi rounded off the top 10.
Andersson was in control from start to finish after winning the previous day’s spectacular battle for pole position with Team Abu Dhabi’s three-time world champion, Shaun Torrente.
Torrente, was unable to race following his accident during the second of Saturday’s afternoon sprint races. But he was reunited with his team today after spending the night in hospital, and undergoing extensive medical tests.
Torrente was visited in hospital, and driven back to his team hotel, by Victory Team’s Ahmad Al Fahim. The accident happened when Torrente’s boat was clipped by Al Fahim’s, and then collided with the Mad Croc Gillman Racing boat of Finnish driver Filip Roms’s.
Initially, Fahim was given a red card and disqualified. This was later downgraded to a yellow, but a yellow from the previous round in Sardinia meant that Al Fahim still missed the race through suspension.
“We had a good talk, and it was nice to speak to him, so that we had a chance to figure it all out,” said Torrente. “I don’t remember much after the accident, but I’m grateful to Guido (team manager Cappellinni), my teammates, the rescue team, and everyone at the hospital.”
Torrente had lunch with teammates and visited the pits beside Khalid Lagoon before the race. He was flying home to the US as scheduled early tomorrow, but said he was looking forward to another new season in the UIM F1H2O World Championship.
2023 UIM F1H2O World Championship: Final positions:
1. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 83pts
2. Erik Stark (SWE) Victory Team 50pts
3. Peter Morin (FRA) China CTIC Team 42pts
4. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NLD) Sharjah Team 39pts
5. Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 34pts
6. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team 22pts
7. Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi 17pts
8. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad Croc Gillman Racing 16pts
9. Sami Selio (FIN) Sharjah Team 15pts
10. Brent Dillard (USA) China CTIC Team 13pts