Starting in the pole position Saturday, American tunnel-boat racing star Shaun Torrente claimed victory in the Grand Prix of Middle East, round three of the 2014 Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship in Qatar’s Doha Bay, according to a press release from the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. Torrente led from start to finish in an action-packed contest that included three yellow flag incidents.
On his way to winning the Grand Prix of Middle East, American Shaun Torrente finished more than 10 seconds ahead of his closest F1 H2O competitor. Photo courtesy QMSF
“The object of getting the pole is to get a good clean run from the start to the first turn and then have a smooth run,” said Torrente in the release. “All the hard work is done before the race. It’s then a matter of staying out of trouble.”The Florida native has now won twice in three starts in the last 12 months in Doha and has moved into third place in the drivers championship with 29 points, trailing his teammate Alex Carella by 11 points with two races to go in the season.
Carella, the three-time world champion, has now seen his 25-point cushion he held entering the event trimmed to 10 after making a mistake while chasing Torrente in second place. Entering the final turn on the circuit, the Italian driver missed the corner, took out a pair of buoys and was disqualified by the UIM officials and gained no points.
Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Rubayan barrel-rolled out of contention and fire damage forced both Sweden’s Jesper Forss and China’s Xiong Ziwei out of the race. All three incidents brought out caution flags.
“Every yellow flag I was thinking, ‘Oh no not again,'” said Torrente who finished more than 10 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, France’s Philippe Chiappe of the China CTIC Team. “But the conditions were good and I was able to pull away again each time. I have an awesome feeling right now. I am so happy.”
The next event on the F1 H2O circuit is in Abu Dhabi beginning Nov. 21.
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