Philippe Chiappe won the first round of the UIM F1 H2o World Championship in Portimão today.
Pole Sitter and early leader Shaun Torrente blew piston #3 on lap 10 leaving the 2016 World Champion 40 laps to hold the lead.
Torrente told me after;
I’m not too disappointed, we now know that the boat is quick in qualifying and race set-up.
We have a great package for 2017.
Drive of the day has to go Finland’s Sami Selio, he carved his way from 9th on the grid to the runners up spot.
I’m really pleased, I had big problems with the back markers and by the time I got into second, Chiappe had pulled out too much of a lead for me to challenge him.
If Selio took drive of the day, the most popular was local hero Duarte Benavente’s third place.
I’m delighted to have got 3rd in my own race in Portugal after such challenging conditions over the last 3 days. The reception from the public was overwhelming.
Heartbreak of the day went to Erik Stark who experienced engine problems 2 laps from the end whilst in second place. The 4 time UIM F2 World Champion just couldn’t believe his wretched luck.
After losing the whole of yesterday and Friday because of gale force winds, it was amazing to see so much action crammed into so few hours.
Photos: Chris Davies
Photo: Chris Davies