Just in time for next weekend’s second round of the Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship in Evian, France, American racer and current points leader Shaun Torrente has managed to assemble a formidable program to compete in the 19th Grand Prix of France on Lake Geneva (June 26-28).
Florida native Shaun Torrente will be racing under the Victory Team banner in next week’s F1 H2O Grand Prix of France.
The 36-year-old driver from Florida, who had several offers to stay within the UIM F1 H2O tour, was determined to return to the series after his Qatar Team disbanded eight weeks ago (read his story). Torrente’s persistence paid off as he’ll be represented by the Victory Team and will run an Italian BABA hull supported by the organization based out of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
For the two-time North American F1 champion, who has finished second and third in the drivers championship the last two years while racing with the now defunct Qatar Team, the race in Evian will mark his 23rd career start. Torrente has been on a “hot streak” winning two of the last four races while accumulating four straight podiums and eight top-three finishes in his last 12 starts.
“I’m so excited about this prospect of racing with such an elite group,” Torrente said in the F1 H2O release. “The Victory organization has made the commitment to run the full calendar for 2015. This racing association has redefined the ladder of success in the world of powerboat racing over the last 20 years and I’m glad to be a part of it.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and there will be challenges in France since we’ve only had a week and a half to put this team together,” continued Torrente, who won the season opener in Doha, Qatar, in March. “Earning a top five in Evian would be a great introduction for the team and scoring points is the most important thing at this point for the championship.”
The executive director of the Victory Team and noted worldwide racer Arif Al Zaffain said the organization was excited to join the F1 H2O family.
“Our plan is to continue this year with the BABA boat and Shaun driving,” Al Zaffain said in the release. “We know Shaun is very experienced and an aggressive pilot, and our future plans are to bring into the team a local driver along with Shaun and to develop our own boat using our vast know-how from our history in powerboat racing. Shaun’s experience will definitely be an asset for us in this regard.”
The F1 H2O World Championship returns to France for the first time in eight years with the 19th edition of the Grand Prix being held in the country’s fourth venue since its original event back in 1981. The Grand Prix in Evian along Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) is expected to be something special with drivers from 12 different nations taking part beginning with official qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
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