Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente is topping the 2019 UIM F1H2o World Championship standings with the final race of the season to be held in Sharjah, UAE on December 21st, the only driver that can stop him winning back-to-back titles is Sweden’s Jonas Andersson.
When I spoke to Torrente on the phone recently, he reminded me that ironically he made his F1H2o debut back in 2011 as Andersson’s teammate.
The news was announced in February of that year in an F1H2o press release:
The most talented driver in North America is finally going to get his first taste of international competition this upcoming season as Miami, Florida driver Shaun Torrente will team with Swedish driver Jonas Andersson starting at the opening race of the 2011 UIM F1 H2O World Championship at the ninth Grand Prix of Qatar the weekend of the fourth and fifth of March on Doha Bay.
The two time defending North American title holder who has won three-quarters of all races in America the past three years, is excited about his new team and his new teammate.
“I’m really thrilled about joining Team Sweden and working with my new teammate Jonas,” said Shaun. “I’ve been working throughout the winter putting together a perfect opportunity for F1 and I think this is a great fit for both the team and myself. I’ll be racing Jonas’s boat hull that carried him to a pair of victories in recent years and am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
The season started well, with the American rookie finishing fourth with Andersson just behind him, however, it was fireworks in Portimão!
Round two saw history made as Norwegian lady driver Marit Stromoy started the race from pole, and she held the lead. Torrente had driven through the field and put himself in a position to challenge for first.
With the race re-started following an accident, Torrente made a move to the outside and got to Stromoy’s left and the two ended up touching and blowing over in spectacular fashion.
The blow over ended both drivers dreams of a first win with Torrente handed two yellow cards for his attempt to passing for the lead.
Andersson would also retire from the Portuguese race and then it was on to Kazan in Russia.
In qualifying, Torrente had pole position for exactly four seconds before Alex Carella just pipped him in the shoot-out.
Andersson qualified 10th quickest in a BABA hull that he had nearly destroyed a few weeks earlier while testing in Sweden.
Team Sweden ended the race with both drivers in the water and boats badly damaged with Andersson crashing out of the top ten on the seventh lap while Torrente sitting in second until his kill switch came out stopping the engine for a moment slowing him down to 10th position by the time he fixed it.
Shortly thereafter his boat broke apart unexpectedly in the turn three right hand corner with Torrente crashing heavily and ending his day with a broken rib.
There was more misfortune for Torrente at the Grand Prix of Ukraine in Kiev when he broke down, Andersson however, placed sixth.
Some while later Torrente announced that he would forego racing in the Grand Prix of China to concentrate on the final two events in the UAE in early December, and then in November, it was revealed that he had left Team Sweden to join the Qatar Team alongside Alex Carella.
His on water rivalry with Carella is now of course well documented, but Torrente will have to beat his first teammate in F1H2o if he is to win a second UIM F1H2o title in December.