In his 83rd career start, French driver Phillipe Chiappe picked up his first Grand Prix victory in front of tens of thousands of fans at the third annual Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) F1 H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Ukraine on the Kyiv Sea on Saturday afternoon.
The CTIC China Team driver, who started his F1 career in 2002, earned the first victory for home country since his friend and now race manager Philippe Dessertenne won the Grand Prix of Finland that same year. Early in the race, Chiappe slid past pole-sitter Sami Selio of the Mad Croc Team and never relinquished the lead.
American driver Shaun Torrente of the Qatar Team finished runner-up for the second straight race of the season, boosting the Florida native into the top spot in the drivers points championship with 30 points, one point ahead of Selio.
“The guys gave me a great boat and I decided at the end to not push too hard for a victory and take the points,” Torrente said. “Now with my teammate, Alex Carella, also finishing third for the second straight race, we feel the Qatar Team has a leg up in the run for the team championship—something we really want to capture at season’s end for the Qatar Motor Sports Federation.”
The race for third and the final spot on the podium came down to the final two turns when Carella was able to pass Selio for a well-earned 12 points. The F1 H2O series takes a couple of months off before the third round of the championship in Liuzhou, China (Oct. 1-2).