Team Abu Dhabi’s Torrente retains world title in style
Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente retained his UIM F1H2O World Championship title in the most dramatic fashion, edging out Sweden’s Jonas Andersson on a countback after the Swede won the Grand Prix of Sharjah.
Andersson looked set to claim the F1H2O crown for the first time until a damaged trim on the last lap for three-times world champion Philippe Chiappe saw Torrente squeeze past the Frenchman to snatch second place in the dying moments of the race.
It meant Torrente and Andersson finished tied on 79 points after securing two victories each, with the American emerging as champion as he recorded one more second place finish.
There were jubilant scenes beside Khalid Lagoon as Team Abu Dhabi hailed not only a second successive driver’s title for Torrente, who plunged into the water to celebrate, but also another world team championship.
“I was pushing like crazy, but we have been through so much with that motor this week, and the team have kept it together,” said Torrente. “Every time we took the boat off the water we have had to fix something. We didn’t think it was going to make the race. In the last five laps it was down on power, but I just kept pushing as hard as I could, hoping. When I came down the front straight I saw his (Chiappe) motor bobble, and I could tell something was wrong.”
Added Torrente, “I thought, no way. I just couldn’t believe it. I’m glad I just made it home. I can’t thank the guys in the team enough.
“We didn’t have our best bullet this week, but we still got second place, somehow, some way. and that’s just down to this team for working so hard. They never stopped. I’m just blessed to be with them.”
Torrente paid Tribute to Andersson, saying: “Jonas had an amazing season. I feel for him. He was 40 seconds from being world champion. He did everything he could do, but so did I.”