A packed crowd at Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon watched as Shaun Torrente won his second world title in dramatic fashion at the UIM F1H20 World Championship.
It looked as if race-leader Jonas Andersson was going to be crowned world champion as the Swede led the pack during the Grand Prix of Sharjah. Andersson looked set to claim the F1H2O title 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.
“I thought, no way. I just couldn’t believe it,” added Torrente. “I’m glad I just made it home. I can’t thank the guys in the team enough. They worked like crazy and the least I could do was give them 150 per cent.”
Poland’s Bartek Marszalek finished third ahead of Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qemzi who was placed fourth overall in the championship as well as the race.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al Mehairbi and Rashed Al Remeithi finished third and fifth respectively in the F4-S series, which concluded with Britain’s Harvey Smith completing back-to-back race victories in Sharjah. German Max Stilz had wrapped up the title 48 hours earlier.
It was the 20th time the event has been held in the emirate and was watched by a full house, as people gathered in the street and watched from their balconies across from the Khalid Lagoon.
Grand Prix of Sharjah results
UIM F1H2O World Championship final positions
Team championship positions
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