The first round of the 2020 UIM F2 World Championship is set to be held in Kaunus, Lithuania on the 20th and it will feature some surprise names in the driver line-up!
I spoke to Edgaras Riabko, the organiser of the race this morning.
Putting on an event during this health crisis has been an absolute nightmare for the double European UIM F2 Champion:
I have made thousands of telephone calls and emails regarding the situation we find ourselves in.
I am securing all of the permissions to make this race happen and to allow the drivers and officials to come into Lithuania without having to quarantine for 14 days.
Currently, Riabko has 15 drivers entered for the race.
The news that the Abu Dhabi team’s Rashed Al Qemzi will not be defending his 2019 title is confirmed, the UAE team will not be competing in this season’s shortened calendar.
However, two other multi-world champions will be racing in Kaunus!
Sami Seliö hasn’t raced in F1H2o this season due to the lack of their championship being held, but, he will be racing the Sharjah Team F2 BaBa hull normally driven by Ferdinand Zandbergen who was unavailable to compete.
Colin Jelf makes a return to UIM F2, a class where he has won no less than three world titles.
Jelf will be up against his brother Owen, who has also put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes to ensure that this championship happens.
Bimba Sjoholm and Johan Österberg from Sweden are entered although Riabko told me:
Bimba and Johan want to come, but they are struggling with insurance, and even their ferry was cancelled a few days ago, but they are looking to find a way to get here.
Norway’s Frode Sundsdal and Tobias Munthe-Kaas are also looking at their logistics:
Frode with Tobias are looking for one commercial truck to put the boats inside, and then they can fly here.
Duarte Benevente and Hector Sanz Lopez will be making the long trips from Portugal and Spain, while Latvia’s Uvis Slakteris, Nikita Lijcs and Austria’s Rupp Temper are a little nearer.
Konstantin Ustinov’s Russian New Star team are waiting for support from the Lithuanian government to receive permission to enter the country with an entry visa, that hopefully will be resolved next week.
Giacomo Sacchi and of course, Riabko make it 15 so far.
I couldn’t have done this without our sponsors, Vytauto paslaugos and Helvina and without our government and local council, we wouldn’t have stood a chance.
It’s an incredible story so far of one man that will not be beaten down by the odds stacked against him, I look forward to returning to Lithuania later this month and reporting on the racing action.
2020 UIM F2 Calendar
|World Championship||Kaunus, Lithuania||19-20 September|
|World Championship||Vila Velha de Ródão, Portugal||30 September - 01 October|
|World Championship||Vila Velha de Ródão, Portugal||3-4 October|