Sweden’s Jonas Andersson took a crucial pole position in Sharjah this afternoon, while his championship rival, Shaun Torrente, will start from fifth in the final F1H2o race of the season on Saturday.
The Swede spoke to Nigel Quilter after:
It was a fantastic qualifying.
In the morning everything felt wrong.
I didn’t drive well and the boat didn’t have the balance I wanted.
We made some adjustments and in qualifying the feeling was back and the boat was how I wanted it.
So half the job is done but I will need help!
Torrente now faces an uphill battle, he must finish ahead of Andersson and if the Swede wins from pole it’s his World Championship.
If neither wins the race this weekend, Andersson must beat Torrente by a six point margin to win it.
The defending world champion, Torrente, also has the formidable task of getting past some very quick drivers as Philippe Chiappe (above), Erik Stark and his team-mate, Thani Al Qemzi, are all in front of him.
Torrente told Tony Lewis after the shoot-out:
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.
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.
Chiappe’s 45.31 second tour was just short of Andersson’s 45.26, showing that the three time World Champion has really got his Moore hull back to its best.
Stark, (below) was quickest in both of the practice sessions this morning in his brand new DAC, although in the shoot-out it appeared that he was getting too much air to challenge for pole, his 45.45 second lap would put him third on the grid.
1st) Jonas Andersson – 45.26 seconds
2nd) Philippe Chiappe – 45.31 seconds
3rd) Erik Stark – 45.45 seconds
4th) Thani Al Qemzi – 45.47 seconds
5th) Shaun Torrente – 46.25 seconds
6th) Sami Seliö – 46.47 seconds
John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.