After turning a new page in its racing history book in 2015, the Dubai-based Victory Team—a longtime leader in the sport of international offshore powerboat racing—is excited about its first full season of competition in the Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship, which kicks off this week with the inaugural Grand Prix of Dubai (March 2-4) on the team’s home waters.
Shaun Torrente will be racing an all-new Victory Team boat at this week’s F1 H2O season opener in Dubai. Photo courtesy F1 H2O
Behind the dynamic American driver Shaun Torrente, who was part of the hastily put together F1 H2O team after his Qatar Team disbanded following the 2015 season opener, the Victory organization hopes to prove it not only belongs, but that it can become a giant in the sport of F1 H2O as well.
“We didn’t decide last season to be just another team in this great international series,” said Torrente, who produced three top five finishes in 2015 including a third place in the last race of the season to help the team finish eighth in the team championship—he finished third in the drivers championship thanks to his season-opening win with the Qatar Team. “We were, then and now, jumping into this project feet first and plan on making this a new ‘era’ for the organization and for the history of the sport.
“The Victory Team has been synonymous with winning ever since it took up the challenge years ago in offshore racing,” he continued. “Now, we are once again going flat out producing new boats, equipment and futuristic ideas that I feel will make everyone excited that we are here pushing the limits of the sport and that we have a future in F1 H2O racing for years to come.”
Joining Torrente in the team’s other brand new “Victory” boat this season is legendary offshore racer Nadir bin Hendi. The driver from Dubai has claimed a remarkable 30 victories in 68 race starts on the Class 1 World Championship tour, including four wins in Dubai.
The 46-year-old driver has proven to be a fast learner—since joining the series at last year’s third round in Porto, Portugal, he earned his first points of the year finishing ninth in the final round at nearby Sharjah, UAE, and has spent a lot of time testing in preparation for this season.
“It’s been great ‘mentoring’ such an accomplished racer in this type of racing,” said Torrente, who can’t wait to get on the racecourse in the new boat with his “good luck” No. 4 on the side of his hull (bin Hendi will run the No. 3 boat). “It’s also exciting to start a new season with everything in place to accomplish our goal of being world champions.”
Of course, standing in the Victory Team’s way is French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China team, who will be carrying the prestigious No. 1 plate for the second consecutive season and looking to claim a third straight world championship, not to mention 15 other drivers from eight different countries.
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