A former Union Internationale Motonautique F1H2O world champion, Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson clinched a dominating start-to-finish victory in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Zhengzhou, China on the Yellow River.
Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson took the wire-to-wire victory on Sunday to earn the checkered flag at the F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Zhengzhou China. Photos courtesy Simon Palfrader/F1H2O
After being handed pole position following an intense qualifying round on Saturday that included defending world champion Shaun Torrente of Team Abu Dhabi—the apparent pole winner—and Sami Seliö of Sharjah Team being dock their fastest laps after a close encounter between the two in the session, The Swedish driver Andersson led from pole to the checkered flag on a rapid-fire 38-lap race that was not interrupted by any yellow flag incidents. Andersson duly claimed his 11th career GP victory by an impressive winning margin of 16.72 seconds over Torrente, who managed to work his way from fourth at the start to second place.
With 23 total points after races in China and Indonesia, Andersson now has a two-point lead in the drivers’ championship, with Torrente holding fourth place with 17 points. Victory Team driver Erik Stark, also from Sweden, is in second with 21 points, followed by the winning driver in Indonesia—Strømøy Racing’s Bartek Marszalek of Poland—with 20 points.
“I almost missed the start because I had the wrong setup on my engine,” Andersson said in an F1H2O press release. “We could have been faster but we made a safe choice and it was not maybe correct, but we won. It was a hard one at the start and I had to really push hard to beat Peter (Morin) to the first turn. After, it was a smooth race and a great result for me and the team.”
Torrente, who said conditions on the Yellow River were challenging all week, said the race was a good one.
“It was a good race—the organization here was awesome,” Torrente expresses. “The promoters did an amazing job; it was one of the best races we have been to in China. The venue was great but the conditions were difficult. It was different both days yet it was fun. I had a good race and a good start but Jonas was just too quick today.”
Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente worked his way up two spots to finish second in the incident-free second-round F1H2O race in China.
With the Sharjah Team’s Seliö dropping out of contention and a possible third place on lap 28, his teammate, Ferdinand Zandbergen, slowly began to work his way through the field and the Dutch driver secured 12 vital championship points by claiming the final spot on the podium.
“I didn’t have a great start but I had opportunities because of the fights going on in front of me,” Zandbergen said. “While they were fighting, I was able to overtake four (boats) at one time. I was really lucky. I was in the right place at the right time and made it to third from 11th at the start.”
Stark moved up to second in the drivers’ championship standings with fourth place after suffering battery issues during qualifying on Saturday. Finland’s Filip Roms came home in fifth for Mad Croc Gillman Racing and Marit Strømøy enjoyed much better fortune to finish sixth.
The podium finishers from the F1H2O Grand Prix of Zhengzhou, China.
eam Abu Dhabi’s stand-in driver Rashed Al-Qamzi took seventh place, while Alberto Comparato was eighth and Kalle Viippo and Brent Dillard, an American driver racing for China CTIC Team, rounded off the top 10. Marszalek retired with technical issues early in the race and slipped to third in the standings. Fifteen of the 20 racers have now scored points after the opening two rounds in Indonesia and China.
Following the second round of competition, Team Abu Dhabi holds a one-point advantage over the Sharjah Team in the UIM F1H2O teams’ championship. The Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team and Team Sweden are two points further behind, tied for third.
The F1H2O World Championship continues with the Grand Prix of France in Mâcon at the end of June.
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