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HomeRacingMarszalek Wins F1H2O Season Opener In Indonesia

Marszalek Wins F1H2O Season Opener In Indonesia

In front of an estimated 100,000 spectators who lined the shores of Lake Toba—the world’s largest volcanic lake in northern Sumatra—to watch the first Union Internationale Motonautique F1H2O World Championship event to happen in Indonesia, Strømøy Racing team’s Bartek Marszalek won the opening 18-lap sprint race at the Kopiko Grand Prix of Indonesia on Sunday.

Poland’s Bartek Marszalek earned his first career F1H2O Grand Prix victory on Sunday at the very first F1H2O World Championship race held in Indonesia. Photos courtesy Simon Palfrader/F1H2O

A fierce wind ruined the chance of the planned second sprint race being completed in the afternoon—high winds also led race officials to cancel Saturday’s qualifying rounds—and the Polish driver was able to wrap up a successful weekend with a five-point lead in the drivers’ championship heading into the next round of competition in China at the end of April.

“What a fantastic feeling to win the race—I really enjoyed it,” said Marszalek, who followed up his first ever pole position by securing a maiden victory in his 50th race start. “The weather was perfect this morning for qualifying and we had a lot of spectators around the shore. So many smiles give me extra horsepower. I feel very good in the boat.”

Sharjah Team’s Sami Seliö of Finland finished second overall and Sweden’s Erik Stark finished third as a member of the Victory Team, which returned to the championship series for the first time since 2019. While battling Marszalek for the lead, defending world champion Shaun Torrente of Team Abu Dhabi incurred a one-lap penalty for jumping the restart after a late yellow flag was brought out when Team Sharjah’s Ferdinand Zandbergen crashed with a few laps remaining.

Following the penalty, the American driver earned points for ninth place. His teammate, Thani Al Qemzi, worked his from ninth in qualifying to fifth place behind France’s Peter Morin of the China CTIC Team. Morin’s teammate—Brent Dillard, the other American driver competing this season—finished the race in sixth place.

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Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Grand Prix of Indonesia.

Torrente said he will bounce back after a disappointing start to his title defense.

“To begin with, I want to congratulate Bartek on his first win,” Torrente said. “He deserves it. We had a good race, and he didn’t make any mistakes. I’m very pleased for him. I can handle losing. In this sport, you lose more than you win. But I’m angry with myself. I let the team down after all of our preparation and everything we did this weekend. I won the race on the water, but gave it away.

“I feel bad for the team as they were fantastic, as usual, and deserved the win,” he added. “But I’ll pick myself up quickly and move forward. I had pole, then it was gone, from just a timing error. Then after starting second, I jumped by a little bit. I still had a good race, but that’s the way it goes.”

The day’s second scheduled race was called off after just two laps when powerful winds made racing conditions hazardous so no points were awarded for the second 18-lap race in the presence of Joko Widodo, the president of the Republic of Indonesia and a large government entourage.

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