Two-time world champion Sami Selio led from start to finish in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to capture his second win of the season and move to the top of the Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship standings. Selio’s victory moves three drivers within four points for the championship fight, which will be decided on December 12-13 in Sharjah, UAE.
The 38-year-old driver from Helsinki, Finland, took a 2.4-second victory over French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team and now has 64 points on the season with 20 points still up for grabs in the championship.
“It was a great weekend for me and all of the Mad Croc Team members as we prepared a new boat and it worked to perfection,” Selio said. “We now are looking forward to Sharjah in two weeks and hopefully a third title. We know the drill and to this, I feel we have an advantage.”
Meanwhile the Qatar Team drivers—Italy’s Alex Carella and America’s Shaun Torrente—finished in third- and fifth-place, respectively. The duo is in the top three in overall points with the driver from Florida two points behind Selio (62) and the two-time world champion two more back (60) as he chases his third straight title.
Torrente, who came into the event leading the chase with 55 points, dug himself out of a giant hole after breaking an engine in qualifying and starting 11th in the 39-lap race. Although it wasn’t enough, he moved up more than any one driver in the race, sliding up six places to fifth.
Norway’s Marit Stromoy, who argumentatively had the “drive of the day” in keeping Torrente back in fifth, finished with her career best—a well-earned fourth place position.
“The plan was to go really hard, really fast from the start,” Torrente said. “But then it was a case of easing off near the finish to conserve the points we had.”
Kuwaiti driver Youssef Al-Rubayan of the F1 GC Atlantic Team came home in sixth position, while American driver Terry Rinker finished a fine seventh and ahead of his teammate Jonas Andersson of Team Azerbaijan, who retired after 30 laps in 12th place.